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Hi members,

I just encountered the following usage of going to, but I can't understand it(specially the underlined part).

Would anyone please elucidate it for me?

To make statements about the future in a neutral way:

E.g: 1. Alan's going to finish his exam on friday.

2. Jenny's going to be five next week.

3. I'm going to work for a television company.

Thank you in advance

Iman
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Comments  
'In a neutral way' is a new definition for me, imantaghavi, and I don't think it's an accurate one at all. The most neutral statement of future fact is the 'will' future form: It will rain tomorrow. I'll see you Tuesday.

'To be going to' shows either internal plan or intent or current external evidence.

1. Alan's going to finish his exam on friday. -- (because he told me so or because I saw his schedule)

2. Jenny's going to be five next week. -- (because I know her birth date and I know how old she is now.)

3. I'm going to work for a television company.-- (I've decided to take the TV company's offer.)
Dear Iman,

I am confused too!

It seems that sentence three is the only real neutral use of "going to" because it does not provide any clue as to exactly "when". If someone says: "I'm going to work for a television company", this could be a child telling an adult his life's ambition or a guy trying to impress a girl at a party. In any case, there is no time indication and the statement is neutral in that regard.

Sentence two is more precise (i.e., less neutral). Jenny is going to be five next week (on one of the seven days that will follow the coming Sunday).

Sentence one is the least neutral of all - the only detail missing is the time of day!

I hope this helps.

John
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Yes

The book mentioned that future simple is also possible as you said.

So you mean this usage of Going to has something to do with future fact? (as in the examples)

Thanks
Thank you dear JP,

It definitly helps. So by NEUTRAL you mean not telling the exact time?

Iman
That's how I read it, Iman.

But, I think you should also consider what Mr. Micawber says, particularly: 'To be going to' shows either internal plan or intent or current external evidence."

For me, the problem lies in the use of the word 'neutral'.

Would I be correct in assuming that you received instructions asking you: “To make statements about the future in a neutral way, using going to”? If this is the case, the instructions are in error.

Best, John
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Dear Mistre Micawber,

Thank you for your reply, but I can't understand the meaning of "neutral" in your examples too.

Please justify it.

Thank you

Iman
Thank you JP,

No. This is a part of Grammar book.

By the way I can't understand " internal plan or intent or current external evidence."

Please let me know more.

Regards

Iman
'Neutral' means that the verb carries no nuance beyond fact or statement; it includes no emotional, intentional or causal component. Of course, no verb does this perfectly, but in the two future forms we are discussing, 'I will see him tomorrow' simply announces that fact while 'I'm going to see him tomorrow' also includes a nuance of the speaker's intention or plan to do that.

An internal plan is a plan that the speaker himself has decided on.

Current external evidence is the speaker's observation NOW of evidence for a future event. If I see dark clouds overhead (external evidence), I say 'It's going to rain!'
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