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I'm a little confused on the anatomy of the future tense with regard to "going to."

For example:

I am going to see a movie

To me this looks like the present progressive (am going) + an infinitive (to see), but all explanations I find say that "be + going to + verb" is the correct structure. This leads me to believe that 'going' and 'going to' are actually two different verbs. Can anyone clarify this for me?

thanks,
Jack
Comments  
Spot on. In the phrase "going to", "going" does not always indicate the verb "to go", sometimes it only introduces future tense.

The thing to look out for is whether or not the "to" is a preposition (as in "to New York") or an infinitive (as in "to see a movie"). If it's a preposition, you've got the verb "to go". If it's an infinitive, you've got future tense. So "I'm going to New York" would be present tense "to go".

Just to make things confusing, however, "I'm going to New York" might still be in the future, especially if followed by something like "next Tuesday", but for a different reason. This is because present tense is sometimes used to indicate future action, especially if the action is imminent or in the near-future. Other qualifiers (like "next Tuesday") usually make this clear though.

So in summary:
1. I am going to a movie ---> "to" is a preposition so this is present tense "to go"
2. I am going to see a movie ---> "to" is an infinitive so this is future tense "to see"

(although 1. might also describe a future event).

Rommie
What you're saying makes me think the future tense looks like this:

be + going + infinitive

NOT

be + going to + verb

Yes??? No???

Jack
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Yes. That's it. Absolutely.

Rommie.
Rommie, he seems still a bit confused. "be going + infinitive" and "be going to + verb" are the same thing. Shouldn't he have said "be going to + noun (pronoun)" instead of "be going to + verb"?
I assumed that, before this discussion, the original poster would have analysed "going to run" as "going to" + "run" (a present tense verb), and that he/she now analyses it as "going" + "to run" (an infinitive verb). If so, they have understood.

The noun variants ("going to France") were ones I invented for demonstration. Yes, these are "going to" + noun.

If our guest is still unclear, I suggest he/she ask some more.

Rommie
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
If you gave some more examples I am sure we would understand your explanation better.
I understood, and thanks for the thorough reply. My original question was if "going to" was an actual verb itself or not.

Jack