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When you say 'you're going to be late for an appointment do you mean you will definitely be late when you arrive. For example, your appointment is at 9 and it takes you 10 mins to get there and now is 8.55. So, you'll arrive about five minutes late. Nobody can predict traffic conditions accurately.

Or do you mean, you're going to be late if you don't hit the road now, meaning if you leave now, you will still show up on time or a bit early. Maybe that's why it's used regularly to end a phone call politely. It implies that the caller will be responsible for you being late if he/she doesn't hang up immediately and let you get ready.

Thanks in advance!
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Hi N2g,

Your analysis is good. Context will determine if you're using the expression as an excuse to break off what you're doing. If you're calling the people you expect to meet, then you would tell them the truth. You can say, "I'll be about five minutes late," or "I may be a little late." If you're speaking to someone who is about to make you late for an appointment, the expression would mean, "Hey, I'm gonna be late if I don't split right now!" If you just say, "I'm gonna be late," you probably would have already tipped the person off that you would need to end the conversation soon, and as you suggest, you would still expect to be on time if you left immediately.

Regards, - A.
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New2grammarOr do you mean, you're going to be late if you don't hit the road now, meaning if you leave now, you will still show up on time ...
This is a common usage of that sentence, yes. It is quite possible in any language to utter a completely grammatical lie! Emotion: smile
CJ
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Thanks Avangi. I get it now. Just so you know, I have several questions regarding the use of would. I probably will be using your sentences as examples and hope you won't mind.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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New2grammarThanks Avangi. I get it now. Just so you know, I have several questions regarding the use of would. I probably will be using your sentences as examples and hope you won't mind.
Of course I won't mind. I believe all we say here is grist for the ol' EF mill. But had I known, I would have tried to put on a better face. I suppose my "multiple-would" sentence should have begun in simple past instead of present.

Two famous quotes will serve as caveats: "An author can survive anything but a misprint." & "Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and plagerism is the highest form of imitation."

Best wishes, - A.