Be Going to for Future Plans

 

Future Plans

When discussing future plans, intentions and schedules, we often use be going to. Synonymous terms include plan, intend, and would like (which conveys less reality).


Interchangeable

These forms are often interchangeable. However going to tends to refer to specific objectives and goals, while the present continuous and future continuous is more about an activity, or having a connection with the present.

The present simple is usually concerned with fixed events involving a timetable or calendar.


Structure of Going to, Plan, Intend

(+/-): Subject + (do not) plan/intend + on + ing-form.
(+/-): Subject + (do not) plan/intend + to + verb-1.
(+/-): Subject + am/is/are/was/were (not) going to + verb-1.

Note: It sounds better to omit “go” and “come” in “going to go” and “going to come”.

Examples of future plans, intentions:

• I am going to be a superhero when I grow up!
• Lester’s going to buy some bread now. Do you need anything?
• Mr. and Mrs. Wyszynski are visiting their relatives this upcoming holiday.
• My flatmate plans to move to a more upscale neighbourhood.
• The second semester begins on the 10th of January.

• The next ferryboat arrives in an hour and a half.
• Our aunt intends to attend the next Olympics.
• We aren’t skydiving this afternoon as originally planned.
• Ihuicatl and Mercedes plan on opening a tax consultancy.
• The staff was going to celebrate today—but then rescheduled it.


Yes-No Question Structures

YN-Q: Am, Is, Are, Was, Were + subject + going to + verb-1?
YN-Q: Do, Does, Did + subject + plan/intend + to + verb-1?
YN-Q: Am, Is, Are, Was, Were + subject + planning + to/on + verb-1/ing-form.

Examples:

• Is Tim going to drive? —> No, he isn’t—thankfully.
• Do you intend to move into management? —> That’s my ultimate goal here.
• Am I coming too? —> No, you can’t go to Vegas with us.
• Are you planning to work overtime today? —> I can’t. My daughter’s got the cold.


WH Question Structures

WH-Q: WH-Q word + am, is, are + subject + going to + verb-1?
WH-Q: WH-Q word + do + subject + plan/intend to + verb-1?
WH-Q: WH-Q word + do + subject + plan/intend on +ing-form?
WH-Q: Who + is + going to/planning to + verb-1?
WH-Q: Who + plans to/intends to + verb-1?
WH-Q: Who + plans on/intend on + ing-form?

Examples:

• When are you going to clean up your room? —> Tomorrow.
• Why does Bill plan on staying in Panama? —> He likes the weather and culture there.
• What are we going to do now? —> We press onward.
• Who is going to volunteer for the assignment? —> Claybourne will!
• Who intends to sign up for the medical program? —> Everyone here is.


Answer the following questions or respond to the following statements. Say why and give examples.

Some possible replies or models:

99% Yes I am/will. I definitely am; I certainly will. Absolutely!
75% I probably am. I plan on doing so. I hope/intend to do so. I think I will.
50% Maybe. Perhaps. I might/may. I’m not sure. It depends. Possibly.
25% I doubt it. I don’t think so. Probably not. It’s not likely.
1% Never. I definitely won’t. Absolutely/Certainly not. I’d never do that.

 
 

    
 
 

    

 
 

Education, School, University

1. I’m going to master one or more foreign languages. Yes or no? If yes, which ones? Why?

2. I’m going to attend university. Or I’m going to study at a trade, vocational, technical school. If yes, what are you going to major (specializing) in?

3. Do you intend to study abroad or in another part of your country? Where?

4. I am planning to attend graduate school. If yes, are you planning to get a master’s degree and, or a doctorate degree? In what area or field?

5. I will attend seminars, lectures, workshops, courses for the rest of my career (life).
 
 

         
  
  

 
 

Career and Finance

6. What are you going to be “when you grow up”? What are your career goals? Describe your ideal profession.

7. Would you like to have your own business? Are you going to start your own business? If so, what type?

8. Are you going to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, gold, silver, platinum, real estate, property?

9. Are you planning to go into politics? Are you planning to run for office, such as parliament, congress, senate, president? If yes, what is your platform, agenda and philosophy?

10. I’m going to become a millionaire; I’m going to be rich!

11. What are you going to do when you retire? Do you plan on retiring?
 
 
 
 

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