“Am Going To” Future Construction

Introduction

English has multiple ways to form the future simple tense. The most common method is to combine will with the base of the verb (e.g., I will go). A slightly less formal way to achieve the same effect is to use an am going to construction. Let’s see how this works.

Form

To use an am going to construction, start with a form to be (amareis), add going, and finish with the infinitive (e.g., to bike). Here’s what that looks like in practice:

I am going to bike

You are going to bike

He/she/it is going to bike

We are going to bike

You are going to bike

They are going to bike

In casual conversation going to is sometimes shortened to gonna (as in I’m gonna get you).

Uses

The phrase am going to has a lot of overlap with the regular future simple tense (using will). Here are the main uses.

Intentions

You can use am going to to declare your intentions.

We are going to come to your last performance.

They are going to go on the next voyage to Mars.

Orders

You can order people around:

You are going to clean up your room!

You are going to come with me this instant.

Predictions

When you make a prediction using am going to, it’s usually based on some knowledge or evidence that you have in the present moment.

It’s going to rain any moment

He is finally going to apply for a job.

Comparison with Will

Compared to am going to, the future simple using will is a bit more formal and tends to express more certainty,

In addition, the construction am going to is often used in relation to our current moment (what we know to be true right now).

 

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