In English, there are multiple ways to talk about the future and the ‘going to-future’ is one way to do that. On this page, you have a complete overview of when to use this tense, how to form it and you will also find some examples and exercises.
Table of Contents
The going to-future is one of the tenses you can use to talk about the future. You have more information below about the situations in which you can use this tense.
When you express your opinion about something in the future; how you think something is going to happen.
- I think he is going to crash his car if he keeps driving like that.
When you want to talk about an intention or plans you made to do something in the future.
- I am going to buy a new car next week.
When you want to talk about something that is a logical consequence of something else.
- That tree doesn’t look healthy. It is going to fall down sooner or later.
How to form the going to-future
Going to-future positive
Forming positive sentences in the going to-future is fairly easy. You conjugate the verb ‘to be’, followed by ‘going to’ and the infinitive of the main verb.
to be + going to + infinitive of the main verb
|I am going to drink beer tonight|
|We are going to make dinner tonight|
|I am going to surprise my girlfriend|
Instead of saying ‘I am going to surprise’, you could also use the short form ‘I’m’. This becomes ‘I’m going to surprise’. This can be used in written English but it is used a lot more in spoken English.
A short form for ‘going to’ is ‘gonna’. This one is not used in written English and you should only use this one in informal and spoken English.
Going to-future negative
The negative form is not that difficult either. You conjugate ‘to be’, followed by ‘not’.
to be + not + going to + infinitive of the main verb
|I am not going to drink beer tonight|
|We are not going to make dinner tonight|
|I am not going to surprise my girlfriend|
Going to-future questions
If you want to form questions, you always need 4 elements in a particular order:
to be + subject + going to + infinitive of the main verb
|Am I going to drink beer tonight?|
|Are we going to make dinner tonight?|
|Am I going to surprise my girlfriend?|
|I am going to buy|
He is going to drink
They are going to be
|I am not going to buy|
He is not going to drink
They are not going to be
|Am I going to buy?|
Is he going to drink?
Are they going to be?