The second most common way, after will, of talking about the future in English is by the use of be going to. I have already shown how an –ing form needs the finite verb be to form the continuous aspect. Be going to is the present continuous and acts as an auxiliary verb, like will, to talk about the future. We use be going to to talk about future things which are already planned. We use be going to to talk about future things which we can predict from present evidence. There is often no difference in meaning between be going to and the present continuous. When we talk about events that are outside of our control, we tend to use be going to NOT the present continuous. Sometimes there is not much difference, if any, between using will, or be going to when talking about the future. Only when we have evidence that something is going to happen should we prefer be going to. We can say that we are going to do something in the immediate future by using be about to. Grammar Activation Pack 14 - Future 3
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