Be + going to / Presente continuo con valor de futuro

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by withdoubts, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. withdoubts Junior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Hola a todos

    ¿Alguien podría brevemente explicar la diferencia entre ambas? Es decir, cuándo se usa uno y otro exactamente, ya que en el instituto te enseñan que "be going to" se usa cuando algo está planeado y es seguro u obvio que va a ocurrir y el presente continuo con valor de futuro se usa cuando es algo inmediato y seguro de que va a ocurrir. Por ejemplo: si es seguro que en verano iré a París, se diría: "Next summer, I'm going to go to París". Y si yo esta tarde voy a ir al cine con un amigo y seguro, puedo decir: "In the afternoon, we're going to cinema" (p.continuous). Así, ambas son a menudo intercambiables, como por ejemplo en esta situación, en la que has quedado por la noche para ir a la disco, según lo que se nos enseña, sería correcto tanto decir "I'm going to the disco tonight" como decir "I'm going to go to the disco tonight".

    Sin embargo, y al margen de todas estas explicaciones escolares (en España, claro está) cuando este verano estuve de viaje en UK alguien me intentó explicar algo de que ambos se podían usar indistintamente teniendo en cuenta que "present continuous" con valor de futuro se usaba cuando la acción que estás diciendo que se va a realizar depende de ti y únicamente de ti que ésta ocurra o no, y que "be going to" se usa cuando no sólo depende de ti que ocurra o no la acción, sino que depende de más gente o de otros factores los cuales tú no puedes controlar. ¿Alguien podría corroborarme o desmentirme esta afirmación? No estoy muy seguro de que realmente esto sea así.

    Thank you a lot in advance! :)
     
  2. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi!
    As far as I know, your are talking about to tenses:
    To be going to + verb = Ir a + verbo -> Futuro inmediato
    To be + gerund = Estar + gerundio -> presente continuo

    Your confusion comes when using the gerund of verb "to go" in P.Cont.
    I go to the movies -> I am going to the movies -> Estoy yendo al cine
    You are expresing a current action. Here, "to go" has the sense movement; it's not working as an auxilar verb but the main verb of the phrase.

    I will go to the movies -> I am going to go to the movies -> Voy a ir al cine.
    I will eat a sandwich -> I am going to eat a sandwich -> Voy a comerme un emparedado.
    I will read -> I am going to read -> Voy a leer.
    You are expressing a decision or an imminent action. Note that the verb, when transitive, may be followed by a direct/indirect object (to the movies, a sandwich, a book).

    Bye.
     
  3. withdoubts Junior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Ya, pero sigue mi duda de lo que me dijo alguien de UK, de lo que me intentó explicar. ¿Sería cierto o no? Gracias por contestar, Milton. De todas formas, en el ejemplo "I'm going to the disco tonight" no es una acción que se esté realizando en el mismo momento y se usa presente continuo... Es decir, yo esta noche iré a la disco, por lo que yo ahora mismo diría "I'm going to the disco tonight", sin embargo, yo no estoy realizando YA esa acción. No current action...

    Saludos :)
     
  4. oddbod Junior Member

    Bariloche, Argentina
    Scotland - English
    when something is definite and confirmed etc., use pres. cont.
    when you have planned it, but it's not all confirmed, use going to.
    The thing is, when can you be absolutely definite? When it depends on you, generally. So I guess that's what the person was saying. I've never heard it explained that way, but I do see a certain logic to it.
     
  5. Prog Lady

    Prog Lady Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish - Buenos Aires
    Hola withdoubs:

    Quizás lo que confunda acá sea el verbo "go".
    Sobre la diferencia entre present continuous tense y verb to be + going to:

    I am attending today
    I am going to attend today

    El primer ejemplo, en present continuous, podría tener el uso de "to talk about the future when we have planned to do something before we speak. We have already made a decision and a plan before speaking".
    No puedo citarte la página porque todavía no llegué a los 30 mensajes...

    Saludos
     
  6. gdmarcus Senior Member

    California, USA
    English, USA
    Milton Sand's explanation was excellent. In my opinion, he describes the proper way to use these tenses.

    However, WithDoubts, you are correct. English speakers often say "I am going to the disco tonight" (personally, I consider this an incorrect way to express a future action...but it is commonly used) when they mean "I am going to go to the disco tonight" o "I will go to the disco tonight". Many English speakers use them interchangably.

    Unlike the person from the UK who had an explantion for the differences in usage, I don't know why we do this, but it is common usage. Some people argue that if enough people use "incorrect grammar", and it becomes accepted, then it should be considered "correct" or at least "standard"...I won't even get into that argument.

    I hope it helps to get the "go ahead" from a native speaker...use either form; you will be understood.
     
  7. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi again.
    Well, in Spanish we do the same!
    However, we don't use present continuous but simple present.
    This kind of sentences are mostly colloquial and refer to something that is indeed going to be or happen, so it's already considered a fact:
    Voy a la disco esta noche = I going to the disco tonight
    Entrenamos mañana a partir de las ocho = We are training tomorrow from eight o'clock on.
    Viajo a Bogotá el fin de semana = I'm travelling to Bogota next weekend.

    Note that a time reference is needed as a complement. Without it, the sentence loses it's sense of future.

    Bye.
     
  8. ahau New Member

    Spain. Spanish
    odbod is right. If you have made some previous arrangements or the action is definite , you use the present cont. If not, if the action is not arranged ,then the going to form is more frequent.
    For example.: "I´m having the driving test this evening " (logically the action here is totally arranged and definite). Or "I´m leaving Spain in two days" (you have the tickets and everything ready). But if you say "I´m going to study Biology" , you are talking about your intentions. They may come true or not. (one more thing: when you use verbs of movement such as go and come with the going to form, don´t use these in the sentence because it´s repetitive. It´s not very correct to say "She´s going to come to the cinema with us". You should say "She´s coming to the cinema with us"
     
  9. withdoubts Junior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Many thanks to everybody. You were so helpful. :D
     

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