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'GOING TO' to talk about the future

Present-Future structure of verbs for plans and predictions.


The structure be going to is mainly used:
  • to talk about plans and intentions
  • to make predictions based on present evidence
It is most commonly used in conversational English.

subject be going full infinitive
I am going to paint the door.
You are going to love this book.
Jack is going to buy a new computer.
It is going to rain very soon.
We are going to visit a museum.
They are going to accept our invitation.


Be going to is used to talk about plans and intentions, usually when the decision has already been made.

♦ Alex and Eva have announced that they're going to get married.
♦ Emma is going to share an apartment with Melanie.
♦ Pedro is going to revise his English all evening.
♦ I'm going to watch the match on television.


We use be going to when we can see that something is likely to happen.

♦ Diego is going to fail the exam if he continues to miss classes.
♦ Look at those clouds. It's going to rain!
♦ The ladder is shaking. That man is going to fall!
♦ Hurry up!  We're going to miss the bus.


Although it is grammatically incorrect, going to is sometimes shortened to gonna, in very informal conversations, especially when we speak quickly. Gonna is also used in song lyrics.

Gonna is more often found in American English, but it is never written that way (except in song lyrics).

♦ I'm gonna surprise you all one day!  =  I'm going to surprise you all one day.

See also:    Future tense   |   Future time clauses  |   Shall-will should-would

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