+0
I feel uncomfortable when somebody says something like, "I decided I am going to be a doctor," or, "I decided I was going to be a doctor." 'Be going to' should be used when what the verb following 'to' describes definately happens or materializes. A profession can be pursued but nobody is sure it can be achieved in the end. I would say, "I decided that I would like to be a doctor," instead. I think the same thing goes for an utterance like, "I decided I will be a doctor," or, "I decided I would be a doctor."

What would the English-speaking native speakers say?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
1 2
Comments  
Hi,

I feel uncomfortable when somebody says something like, "I decided I am going to be a doctor," or, "I decided I was going to be a doctor." 'Be going to' should be used when what the verb following 'to' describes definately happens or materializes. A profession can be pursued but nobody is sure it can be achieved in the end. I would say, "I decided that I would like to be a doctor," instead. I think the same thing goes for an utterance like, "I decided I will be a doctor," or, "I decided I would be a doctor."

I don't agree with the high-lighted phrase above. Nothing about the future is definite. The world could be destroyed tomorrow! The speaker is announcing his/her plan to become a doctor. So, 'going to' is fine. 'I will be' is also acceptable, as a strong statement of the speaker's will, as is ' would.'. 'Will be' shows the decision holds true today, 'would be' relates the decision to the past.

"I decided that I would like to be a doctor" is OK as a sentence, but it's not the same meaning as ' I decided I would be a doctor'. Yesterday I decided I would like to be a big Hollywood movie star, but it isn't going to happen.

Best wishes, Clive
I decided I was going to be a doctor is just fine. The intended result does not need to materialize in order to use "going to" correctly.

CJ
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
HSS
I feel uncomfortable when somebody says something like, "I decided I am going to be a doctor," or, "I decided I was going to be a doctor." 'Be going to' should be used when what the verb following 'to' describes definately happens or materializes. A profession can be pursued but nobody is sure it can be achieved in the end. I would say, "I decided that I would like to be a doctor," instead. I think the same thing goes for an utterance like, "I decided I will be a doctor," or, "I decided I would be a doctor."

What would the English-speaking native speakers say?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan

The truth is, in our minds, we can be categorical about the future. We imagine that what decide to do will become reality and so we say it.
Thanks, all. Very informative.

Sorry for the brevity of my post. I have to be out of my office right away. I'm running my fingers on the keyboard like crazy.

How about, "I decided that I was becoming a doctor," or "I decided that I am becoming a doctor"?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
HSSThanks, all. Very informative.

Sorry for the brevity of my post. I have to be out of my office right away. I'm running my fingers on the keyboard like crazy.

How about, "I decided that I was becoming a doctor," or "I decided that I am becoming a doctor"?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan

No. "I decided to become" is correct.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
All that having been said and pondering what I have heard and read, I gather the "be going to" form gives you an impression of more determinedness of the speaker whereas the present progressive one of more certainty of the result of the action. Aren't I right? Something like, "I'm staying at this hotel tonight," makes you think "I" is more likely to stay at the hotel than "I will stay" or "I'm going to stay," doesn't it?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
Hi,

Generally speaking, yes, I agree with you.

Clive
Lots of high school students here write sentences like, "I will go to" this and that university, or, "I am going to go to" this and that college before taking the entrance exams --- before they haven't gotten the ticket to be enrolled --- when told to render English translations. Particularly when they talk about a college difficult to be admitted into, these translations sound odd to me since they are not sure if they will be accepted. Shouldn't the phrasing be something like "I will apply to" or "I'm going to apply to" instead?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more