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Expressing future plans and intentions

herr-stritt 3. Oktober 2022

Expressing future plans and intentions

Going-to-future and Present Continuous

I. Going-to-future

Maybe you have already learned that when speaking about future plans, intentions and agreements, the going-to-future is used.

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Are you going to attend the meeting on how to be more productive next Friday, Ms Miller?” “Most likely I am going to be working during that time, I’m afraid.”

Going-to-future: Form and Examples

  • am going to stay in the office.
  • am not going to attend the meeting on Friday.
  • Are you going to take part in the meeting yourself?
  • am going to be working during that time.
  • am not going to be taking part in the meeting.
  • Are you going to be working as well?

As usual, this form with a present participle (“ing-form”) is used for dynamic events, that means, processes that are going on during that time.

Going-to-future: Practise tasks

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II. Present continuous ("progressive") with Future Meaning

A good alternative is the present continuous with future meaning. It is often used in a slightly less formal context, e.g. when speaking to friends and family.

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“We’re all partying at summerfest this weekend. Are you coming too?”

“No, I can’t. I’m working Saturday and Sunday.”

Present continuous with future meaning: Form and Examples

  • I am partying this weekend at summerfest.
  • Are you coming on Saturday?
  • I’m sorry but I’m not coming.

Practise task: Which one is better?

You have learnt, that we use the going-to-future in situations that are slightly more formal, whereas the present continuous with a future meaning is used in a more informal context.

In this next exercise, decide: Which one is more appropriate, more suitable for the situation? Then, fill in the correct form.

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Task

Think again about your friend with his or her busy schedule. What plans or intentions could he or she have in the next weeks / months / …? 

Form at least six sentences using the present continuous with future meaning or the going-to-future.

If you are insecure about them, double-check them with your teacher (or another person that speaks English well).

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Let's move on!

Our first step in the grammar is done: You now know everything about expressing future plans and intentions. In our next step, we are going to take a look at events that are officially scheduled, e.g. on a timetable.