282 . 988


Be going to   1039

A Intentions


We use be going toto talk about something we have decided to do (an intention). David intends to climb up the ladder.

Here are some more examples.

I'm going to watch the next programme.

Emma is going to doan experiment this afternoon.

Rachel and Vicky are going to spendsix weeks in the State:. We can use I'm not going tofor a refusal.

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to walkhalf a mile in the ram.

(= 1 don't want to/I'm not willing to walk.)

The present continuous can have a very similar meaning to be going to.We can often use either form (see Unit 26A).

I'm going to visit my friend at the weekend.

I'm visiting my friend at the weekend. We do not use willhere.

We can use be going towith the verb go(We're going to go out this evening), but the present continuous is more usual. We're goingout this evening.

B Form

We use the present tense of be+ going to+ a verb.

They're going to movehouse. Matthew is going to playsquash.

Vicky isn't going to haveany lunch. We aren't going tocomplain.

Is Daniel going to applyfor the job? ~ / think he is.

When areyou going to paythis bill? ~ I don't know. I can't at the moment.

C Predictions We also use be going tofor a prediction based on the present situation, when we can see that something is going to happen. The ladder is moving, so David is going to fall. Here are some more examples. My sister is going to havea baby in March. It's nearly nine now. We're going tobe late. Do you think it's going to rain?


25 Will and be going to > 29B Was going to


24 Exercises

i Intentions (A-B) Look at the pictures and say what is going to happen. Use these verbs: answer, catch, have, hit, light Use these objects: the ball, a bath, a bus, the firework, the phone

They're going to have a bath.


2 ..



2 Form(B)

Put in the verbs with be going to.

Laura: What are you doing with that camera?

Trevor: (►)I'm going to take (I / take) it to work. (1).. (I / lend) it to Phil.

(2) .................. (he / take) a few photos with it.

Laura: Why can't he buy his own camera?

Trevor: He's got one, but it isn't working properly. (3)........... (it / be) a while

before he can get it repaired.
Laura: Well, how long (4)..................... (he / keep) ours? When

(5). (we / get) it back?

Trevor: (6).. (he / have) it over the weekend.

(7) ........................ (we / get) it back on Monday.

Laura: Well, I hope (8)............ (it / not / get) damaged.

3 Predictions (B-C)

Whatwould you say in these situations? Use these words: be sick, crash, get wet, lose, not stop, rain

► The sky is full of dark clouds.
/(s going to rain.

1 Now it's starting to rain. There's nowhere to shelter, and you haven't got an umbrella.

2 You feel awful. There's a terrible feeling in your stomach.

3 You are playing Scrabble. The game is nearly over and you are 100 points behind.

4 You can see a plane coming down. It's out of control and falling to the ground.

5 You are waiting for a train. There's one coming, but you don't know if it's the one you want.
It's travelling very fast.

25 Will and be going to

A Introduction

Emma: It's my birthday soon. I'll be twenty

next Friday.

Aunt Joan: Oh, really? Are you going to have a party?
Emma: I'm going to have a meal in a restaurant

with a few friends. Aunt Joan: That'll be nice.


Willhas a neutral meaning. We use it to talk about facts in the future.

I'll be twenty next Friday.

The spacecraft will come down in the Pacific Ocean tomorrow morning.


We use be going tofor an intention, something we have already decided to do.

We're going to have a meal.

Tom is going to sell his car.


Willdoes not express an intention.

It's her birthday. She's going to have a meal with her friends, not She'll have a meal. But we often use be going tofor an intention and willfor the details and comments. We're all going to have a meal. There'll be about ten of us. ~ Oh, that'll be nice.

As well as be goingto, we can use the present continuous (see Unit 26A).

We're going to drive/We're driving down to the South of France. ~ That'll be a long journey. take two days. We'll arrive on Sunday.

B Decisions and intentions

Yes, it'll



We use willfor an instant decision or agreement to do something.

There's a postbox over there. I'll post these letters.

You still haven't put those shelves up, Trevor. ~

OK, I'll do it tomorrow. Trevor is deciding now.


Be going tomeans that we have already decided.

I'm going out. I'm going to post these letters. You still haven't put those shelves up, Trevor. ~ I

know. I'm going to do it tomorrow. Trevor has already decided.

C Predictions


We can use willfor a prediction about the future.

I think United will win the game. One day people will travel to Mars.


We use be going tofor a prediction when we see from the present situation what is going to happen in the future.

There isn't a cloud in the sky. lt's going to be a lovely day.

This bag isn't very strong. It's going to break.

It is often possible to use either form in a prediction. For example, we can also say I think United are going to winthe game. Usually be going tois a little more informal and conversational than will.

25 Exercises

Will and be going to (A-B)

Complete the conversations. Put in will or be going to with the verbs.

? Vicky: Have you got a ticket for the play?
Daniel: Yes, I'm going to see (see) it on Thursday.

? Harriet: The alarm's going. It's making an awful noise.
Mike: OK, I'll switch (switch) it off.

1 Daniel: Did you buy this book?

Matthew: No, Emma did. She (read) it on holiday.

2 Laura: Would you like tea or coffee?

Sarah: Oh, I.. (have) coffee, please.

3 Trevor: I'm going to miss a good film on TV because I'll be out tonight.
Laura: I.............. (video) it for you, if you like.

4 Rachel: I'm just going out to get a paper.

Emma: What newspaper............... . (you / buy)?

2 Will and be going to (A-C)

What would you say? Use will or be going to.

► You want to express your intention to look round the museum.

Your friend: Do you have any plans for this afternoon?

You: Yes, I'm going to look round the museum.

1 You hate dogs. Dogs always attack you if they get the chance.
Your friend: That dog doesn't look very friendly.

You: It's coming towards us...........

2 You predict the landing of aliens on the earth in the next ten years.
Your friend: All this talk about aliens is complete nonsense, isn't it?
You: Is it? I think ..............

3 You know that your friend's sister has decided to get married.
Your friend: Have you heard about my sister?

You: Well, I heard that ...............

4 You suddenly decide you want to invite Ilona for a meal.

Your friend: Did you know Ilona will be in town next weekend?
You: No, I didn't. ...........

3 Will and be going to (A-C)

Complete the news report about the village of Brickfield. Use will or be going to. Sometimes either is possible.

We have learned this week that the local council has plans for Westside Park in Brickfield.

The council (►) is going to sell (sell) the land to a builder, Forbes and Son. The plans are all ready.

'(1).. (we / build) fifty houses,' said Mr Forbes. 'In two years' time everything

(2).. (be) finished. I'm sure people (3).. (like) the

houses. Most of them (4) (be) for young families. And we intend to take care

of the environment. (5) (we / not / cut) down all the trees, only a few of them.'

But people living near the park are angry. 'This is a terrible idea. We're all against it,' said Mrs Mary Brent.
'(6). (we / have) a protest march on Saturday. I expect everyone in Brickfield

(7) ................... (be) there. We've reached our decision.

(8).. ............... (we / stop) this plan.'

26 Present tenses for the future

A The present continuous for arrangements

Tom: Are you doinganything this evening? Nick: Yes, I'm goingto an ice hockey match.

The Tigers are playingthe Kings.

I bought my ticket yesterday.

We use the present continuous for what someone has arranged to do in the future. Here Nick has arranged to go to the match. (He has bought a ticket.) Here are some more examples.

I'm meeting Harriet at six o'clock. David is cominground later on.

We're havinga party tomorrow. Sarah is goingto Paris next week.

We also use the present continuous to talk about things happening now (see Unit 4).

Present: We're havinga party at the moment.

Future: We're having a party tomorrow.

Here the phrase of time shows whether we mean the present or the future. But sometimes there is no

phrase of time, as when Nick says The Tigers are playing the Kings. Here it is clear from Tom's question that

the conversation is about a future event.

The present continuous for the future and be going to(Unit 24A) have similar meanings. We're havinga party next week. (We have made the arrangements.) We're going tohave a party next week. (We intend / We have decided to have one.)

Often we can use either form.

I'm meeting/I'm going to meet Harriet at six o'clock.


B The present simple for a timetable

Mark: What time doesyour train leavetomorrow? Sarah: Seven twenty-three in the morning.

It getsinto Paris at eleven twenty-three.

We can use the present simple for the future when we are talking about a timetable, usually a public one such as a train timetable.

The train leavesat seven twenty-three tomorrow morning.

The match startsat half past seven.

Next Friday isthe thirteenth.

I've got the tour details here. We spendthree days in Rome. Compare the present simple for repeated actions (see Unit 6A).

The train leavesat seven twenty-three every morning.

Be to and be about to

We use be tofor a future event that is officially arranged. It is often used in news reports.

The Queen is to visitPortugal in November.

The Student Games are to takeplace in Melbourne next year. We could also use the present continuous here.

The Queen is visitingPortugal in November.

We use be about tofor the very near future.

The plane is at the end of the runway. It is about to takeoff.

Do you want to say goodbye to our visitors? They're about to leave.

26 Exercises

1 The present continuous (A)

Read the conversation and say if the verb refers to the present or the future.

Mark: (►) What are you reading, Claire?

Claire: Oh, it's a guidebook to Brazil. (1) I'm going there next month. (2) My sister and I are having a

holiday there. (3) I_m really looking forward to it. (4) We're spending three weeks in Rio. (5) So

I'm finding out about all the things we can do there.

present 3

1 4

2 5

2The present continuous for arrangements (A)

For each situation write a sentence with the present continuous. Use the verbs in brackets.

► Mike and Harriet have accepted an invitation to Tom's party next week, (go)
They're going to Tom's party next week.

1 Laura has agreed to be in the office on Saturday, (work)

2 Claire has just bought a plane ticket to Cairo dated 15 May. (fly)

3 Mark has arranged a meeting with his boss at four o'clock this afternoon, (see)

4 Matthew and Daniel have booked a tennis court for tomorrow afternoon, (play)

3 Present tenses for the future (A-B)

Put the verbs into the present continuous or the present simple.

Emma: (►) Are you doing (you / do) anything tonight?

Matthew: Yes, (1).. (1 / go) to the station to meet my friend Richard.

(2) (he / stay) here for the weekend, remember? His train

(3)................. (get) in at eight fifteen.

Emma: Oh, of course. I'd forgotten about that.

Matthew: Maybe we'll see you later. What (4).. (you / do) tonight?

Emma: Oh, (5) (I / go) to the cinema with Vicky and Rachel and a couple of

other people. The film (6) (finish) quite early, so

(7)............... (we / go) to a pizza place afterwards.

4 Beto and be about to(C)

Complete these sentences on the news. Some are spoken by the newsreader in the studio and some by reporters on the spot. Use be to or be about to with the verbs in brackets.

? The new museum is to open (open) in the autumn.

? The Prime Minister is at the microphone now. He is about to start (start) speaking.


1 The leading runner is nearly there now. She (win) the race.

2 Taxes. ...................... (go) up from next April.

3 The US President ....................... (visit) Ireland in the new year.

4 The riot isn't over yet, but the police are here. They.. (move) in.

5 The talks on world trade .................. (take) place later this year.

 :Will and shall  :When I get there, before you leave, etc
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