Learn and practise the construction I’m going to (do).A I am going to do something = I have already decided to do it, I intend to do it:
- ‘Are you going to eat anything?’ ‘No, I’m not hungry.’
a: I hear Sarah won the lottery. What is she going to do with the money?
b: She’s going to buy a new car.
- I’m just going to make a quick phone call. Can you wait for me?
- This cheese smells horrible. I’m not going to eat it.
I am doing = it is already fixed or arranged. For example, you have arranged to go somewhere or meet somebody:
- I’m leaving next week. I’ve booked my flight.
- What time are you meeting Emily this evening?
I am going to do something = I’ve decided to do it. Maybe I’ve arranged to do it, maybe not.
a: Your shoes are dirty.
b: Yes, I know. I’m going to clean them.
(= I’ve decided to clean them, but I haven’t arranged this with anybody)
- I don’t want to stay here. Tomorrow I’m going to look for somewhere else to stay.
- I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. (= I don’t know my schedule or plans)
- I don’t know what I’m going to do about the problem. (= I haven’t decided what to do)
Often the difference is small and either form is possible.C You can also say that ‘something is going to happen’ in the future. For example:
The man isn’t looking where he is going.
He is going to walk into the wall.
When we say that ‘something is going to happen’, the situation now makes this clear.
The man is walking towards the wall now, so we can see that he is going to walk into it.
Some more examples:
- Look at those black clouds! It’s going to rain. (we can see the clouds now)
- I feel terrible. I think I’m going to be sick. (I feel terrible now)
- The economic situation is bad now and things are going to get worse.
- We were going to travel by train, but then we decided to drive instead.
- 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 it didn’t.