Skip to content
Home » General English Lessons » Grammar Lessons » Be going to for Future

Be going to for Future

The “Be Going to” future tense is used to express plans, intentions, or decisions that have been made before the moment of speaking. It’s also used to predict future events based on present evidence. Let’s explore its usage with an example text:

Next weekend, we are going to visit the new museum downtown. The weather forecast says it’s going to rain, so we’re going to take our umbrellas. I’m sure it’s going to be an educational experience.

This example illustrates plans for the future (visiting the museum), predictions based on present evidence (rain forecast), and a personal prediction (belief it will be educational).

Form

The “Be Going to” future tense is formed using the subject, followed by the appropriate form of “to be” (am, is, are), “going to,” and the base form of the verb. Here’s how it is structured in positive, negative, and interrogative sentences:

Positive Negative Interrogative
I am going to travel. I am not going to travel. Am I going to travel?
You are going to study. You are not going to study. Are you going to study?
He/She/It is going to work. He/She/It is not going to work. Is he/she/it going to work?
We are going to celebrate. We are not going to celebrate. Are we going to celebrate?
They are going to arrive. They are not going to arrive. Are they going to arrive?

Meaning and Use

The “Be Going to” future tense is used in the following contexts:

  1. Plans and Intentions: To talk about future plans or decisions made before speaking. “We are going to buy a new car.”
  2. Predictions Based on Evidence: To predict future events when there is physical evidence or a clear sign in the present. “Look at those clouds! It’s going to rain.”

Signal Words

While there aren’t specific signal words unique to the “Be Going to” future tense, its use is often indicated by context or phrases that suggest planning or prediction:

  • Next (week, year, month)
  • Tomorrow
  • Look at…! / Watch out…! (for predictions)

1. Next (week, year, month)

Using “next” followed by a time period indicates plans or intentions set for a specific future time, emphasizing that these plans are already considered or decided upon.

  • Example 1: “Next month, we are going to start our home renovation.”
  • Example 2: “Next week, I’m going to apply for the new position announced at work.”
  • Example 3: “Next year, they are going to move to a bigger office.”

2. Tomorrow

“Tomorrow” signals intentions or activities planned for the very next day, often used to express personal plans or scheduled events.

  • Example 1: “Tomorrow, we are going to celebrate my brother’s birthday.”
  • Example 2: “I’m going to see the dentist tomorrow morning.”
  • Example 3: “She’s going to submit her project proposal tomorrow.”

3. Look at…! / Watch out…! (for predictions)

These phrases are used to point out evidence in the present that leads to a prediction about the near future, highlighting the use of “Be Going to” for predictions based on observable facts or signs.

  • Example 1: “Look at those dark clouds! It’s going to rain soon.”
  • Example 2: “Watch out for the stock market; it’s going to crash considering the current trends.”
  • Example 3: “Look at how fast that car is going! It’s going to win the race.”

Common Mistakes

  1. Confusing with Present Continuous for Future Plans: Remember that “Be Going to” is used for plans or decisions made before speaking, while the Present Continuous can also be used for scheduled future events.
  2. Using the Wrong Form of “To Be”: It’s important to match the correct form of “to be” with the subject (am/is/are).
  3. Forgetting to Use “Going to” for Predictions: Ensure that predictions based on evidence are formed with “going to,” not just with “will.”

By understanding and correctly using the “Be Going to” future tense, you can clearly express your plans, intentions, and predictions about the future, making your communication more precise and insightful.