going to

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Alternative forms[edit]


(be) going to

  1. Forms a future tense.
    I’m going to throw out the milk if nobody’s going to drink it.
    "Sh–! Don’t speak–he’s going to commence.” (The Story of Grandfather's Old Ram in Roughing It, Chapter 53, by Mark Twain (1872).
  2. Forms a tense future to some past time.
    I was going to cut the grass, but it started raining.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Going is technically a present participle which may be followed by an infinitive with “to”. However, this phrase is commonly interpreted as a modal or auxiliary verb.
  • The future formed with "going to" (or "gonna") differs from that formed with "will". It usually indicates something already planned, an intention, or something that is bound to happen.
  • It is sometimes used without the main verb (in the infinitive):
"Did you cut the grass?" "No, I was going to, but it started raining."
  • In spoken English "going to" is often replaced by "gonna", but only when forming a future, not in a sentence like "I'm going to New York" (although this might be pronounced "I'm goin' to New York").


See also[edit]

  • to (particle)