Be going to – Simple Future in English Grammar

Introduction

The future tense with going to, also simple future, expresses a logical prediction for the future or an intention or plan which has already been decided. This tense is constructed with: be + going to + infinitive.

Learn how to conjugate the future tense with going to in English grammar and get tips on its usage. In the exercises, you can test your knowledge.

Example

Mrs Lucky is going to meet a friend in town.

She has just looked out of the window. The sky is blue – it is not going to rain. So Mrs Lucky is going to leave her umbrella at home.

Advertisement

Usage

Use the future with going to for:

  • plans and intentions for the future when a decision has already been made.

    Example:
    Mrs Lucky is going to meet a friend in town.
  • predictions for the future that are based on present evidence.

    Example:
    The sky is blue - it is not going to rain. So Mrs Lucky is going to leave her umbrella at home.

going to vs. gonna

In informal contexts (such as text messages and emails between friends) and especially in spoken English, going to is often contracted to gonna.

Example:
Mrs Lucky is going to meet a friend in town. (more formal/written English)
I’m gonna meet a friend in town.(informal/spoken English)

Never use this form in formal written English.

Conjugation of English Future Tense with going to

To conjugate the future with going to, we follow the rule: be + going to + infinitive. The table below provides an overview of positive, negative and interrogative conjugations for the simple future with going to.

positivenegativequestion
I I am going to speak. I am not going to speak. Am I going to speak?
you/we/they You are going to speak. You are not going to speak. Are you going to speak?
he/she/it He is going to speak. He is not going to speak. Is he going to speak?

Contractions

Contractions are a combination of certain pronouns, verbs and the word not. They are mostly used in spoken and informal written English. The table below provides an overview of contractions in the future with going to.

long formcontractionexample
am (not) …’m (not) I’m (not) (not: I amn’t)
are …’re you’re
are not …’re not/… aren’t we’re not/we aren’t
is …’s he’s
is not …’s not/… isn’t she’s not/she isn’t

To Note

In written English, the contracted form of are can only be used after pronouns, not after nouns and names.

Example:
They’re going to meet in town.
(but not: The women’re going to meet in town.)

Signal Words

Certain expression can help us to recognise the tense being used in a sentence. Below is a list of expressions for the future with going to:

  • in one year, next week, tomorrow