A. ‘I am going to do something’ = I have already decided to do it, I intend to do it:A: There’s a film on television tonight. Are you going to watch it?
- B: No, I’m tired. I’m going to have an early night.
- A: I hear Ruth has won some money. What is she going to do with it?
- B: She’s going to buy a new car.
- A: Have you made the coffee yet?
- B: I’m just going to make it. (just = right at this moment)
- This food looks horrible. I’m not going to eat it.
B. I am doing and I am going to do
We normally use I am doing (present continuous} when we say what we have arranged to do -for example, arranged to meet somebody, arranged to go somewhere;
- What time are you meeting Ann this evening?
- I’m leaving tomorrow. I’ve got my plane ticket.
‘I am going to do something’ = I’ve decided to do it (but perhaps not arranged to do it):
- The windows are dirty.’ ‘Yes, I know. I’m going to clean them later.’ (= I’ve decided to clean them but I haven’t arranged to clean them)
- I’ve decided not to stay here any longer. Tomorrow I’m going to look for somewhere else to stay.
Often the difference is very small and either form is possible.
C. You can also say that ‘something is going to happen’ in the future.
The man can’t see where he’s walking. There is a hole in front of him.
He is going to fall into the hole.
When we say that ‘something is going to happen’, the situation now makes us believe this. The man is walking towards the hole now, so he is going to fall into it.
- Look at those black clouds! It’s going to rain. (the clouds are there now)
- I feel terrible. I think I‘m going to be sick. (I feel terrible now)
D. ‘I was going to (do something)’ = I intended to do it but didn’t do it:
- We were going to travel by train but then we decided to go by car instead.
- A: Did Peter do the examination?
B: No, he was going to do it but he changed his mind.
- I was just going to cross the road when somebody shouted ‘Stop!’
You can say that something was going to happen (but didn’t happen):
- I thought it was going to rain but then the sun came out.
1 Answer the questions. You are going to do all these things but you haven’t done them yet.
Use going to and the word(s) in brackets.
1 Have you cleaned the car? (tomorrow) Not yet. I ‘m going to clean it tomorrow.
2 Have you phoned Sally? (later) Not yet__________________________________
3 Have you done the shopping? (this afternoon) Not yet. __________________________
4 Have you read the paper? (after dinner) Not ________________________________
5 Have you had dinner? (just) __________________________________________
2 Write a question with going to for each situation.
- Your friend has won some money. You ask; (what / do with it?) _What are you going to do with it?
- Your friend is going to a party tonight. You ask: (what/wear?)____________________________________
- Your friend has just bought a new table. You ask:(where / put it?)_________________________________
- Your friend has decided to have a party. You ask:(who/invite?)___________________________________
3 Read the situations and complete the dialogues. Use going to.
- You have decided to write some letters this evening.
FRIEND: Are you going out this evening?
YOU: No, _I’m going to write some letters
- You are a smoker but you have decided to give it up soon.
FRIEND: Smoking is very bad for you.
YOU: I know. ___________________________________________________________________
- You have been offered a job but you have decided not to take it.
FRIEND: I hear you’ve been offered a job.
YOU: That’s right, but______________________________________________________________
- You are in a restaurant. The food is awful and you’ve decided to complain.
FRIEND: This food is awful, isn’t it?
YOU: Yes, it’s disgusting. ________________________________________________________
4 «What is going to happen in these situations? Use the words in brackets.
- There are a lot of black clouds in the sky. (rain) __It is going to rain__
- It is 8.30. Jack is leaving his house. He has to be at work at 8.45 but the journey takes 30 minutes, (late) He_____________________________________________________________________
- There is a hole in the bottom of the boat. A lot of water is coming in through the hole. (sink) The boat______________________________________________________________________
- Emma is driving. There is very little petrol left in the tank. The nearest petrol station is a long way away. (run out) She ______________________________________________________________
5 Complete the sentences with was/were going to + one of these verbs:
give up have phone play travel
- We _were going to travel. by train but then we decided to go by car instead.
- We ____________________________ tennis yesterday but it rained all day.
- I______________________________ Jim, but I decided to write him a letter instead.
- When I last saw Tim, he ___________________ his job but in the end he decided not to.
- We ____________________ a party last week but some of our friends couldn’t come, so we cancelled it.