Future with ‘Going to’

There are several different ways to talk about future actions and events in English. They vary in meanings and structures.

One of the most commonly used constructions to express future actions is with ‘going to‘.

How to form phrases with ‘going to’

To talk about about planned actions or events in future, we use ‘going to‘.


To form the structures with ‘going to’ in positive sentences, we use:

 am / is / are + going to + the verb (base form without ‘to’)

I’m going to read
You’re going to read
He/she/it’s going to read
We’re going to read
You’re going to read
They’re going to read
  • John is going to learn English.
  • We are going to visit our parents soon.
  • He is going to run this evening.

Negative sentences

We use the negative with ‘going to for things that probably will not or aren’t going to happen. To make negative statements with ‘going to’, we use:

am / is / are not + going to + the verb (base form without ‘to’)

I am not (’m not) going to run
You’re not (aren’t) going to run
He/she/it’s not going to run
We aren’t going to run
You aren’t going to run
They aren’t going to run
  •  The concert has already started. We aren’t going to find free seats.
  •  I’m not going to get wet; I have a raincoat.
  •  Tom is sick today, so Jane’s not going to meet with him.


To make questions with ‘going to, we change the order and use:

(question word) am / is / are + subject + going to + the verb (base form without ‘to’)

Am I going to see them?
Are you going to see them?
Is he/she/it going to see them?
Are we going to see them?
Are you going to see them?
Are they going to see them?
  • Is Jennifer going to be at the party?
  • Are we going to take this home with us?
  • Where are you going to travel?
Note: In short positive answers to the questions above we use only full forms of ‘am/is/are’. However, in short negative answers we can also use the contracted forms.

– Are you going to read a novel? – Yes, I am. / No, I’m not.
– Is he going to play badminton in the garden? – Yes, he is. / No, he’s not. / No, he isn’t.
– Are they going to visit their grandparents? – Yes, they are. / No, they’re not. / No, they aren’t.

Let’s summarize:

When to use ‘going to’ for future

We use going to:

1) to talk about future events that have been planned in advance:

  •  Michael is going to buy a new car next year.
  •  We are going to play tennis in the evening.

2) to make predictions (about the weather, actions of people, etc.) when there is evidence at the present moment:

  • Look at those clouds. (evidence) It’s going to rain soon. (prediction)
  • That dog looks really angry. (evidence) It’s going to attack us. (prediction)

Here’s a good video from 7ESL explaining the difference between ‘will’ and ‘going to’:

Read more about future tenses:

Future with ‘Will’

Present Continuous with Future Meaning

Future Continuous Tense

Future Perfect Tense

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