Definition 2022


going to

See also: going-to


Alternative forms


(be) going to

  1. Forms a future tense.
    I’m going to throw out the milk if nobody’s going to drink it.
  2. Forms a tense future to some past time.
    I was going to cut the grass, but it started raining.

Usage notes

  • Going is technically a present participle (of go) which may be followed by an infinitive with “to”. However, this phrase is commonly interpreted as a modal or auxiliary verb.
  • The future formed with "going to" (or "gonna") differs from that formed with "will". It usually indicates something already planned, an intention, or something that is bound to happen.
  • It is sometimes used without the main verb (in the infinitive):
"Did you cut the grass?" "No, I was going to, but it started raining."
  • In spoken English "going to" is often replaced by "gonna", but only when forming a future, not in a sentence like "I'm going to New York" (although this might be pronounced "I'm goin' to New York").


See also

  • to (particle)