Because I am going to write a couple of e-mails to my friends.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Tenacious Learner, May 18, 2015.

  1. Tenacious Learner

    Tenacious Learner Senior Member

    Spanish
    Hello teachers,
    One of the uses of 'be going to' is to express plans for the future that have been decided in the past.
    That's what more or less, most definitions say. So, I think it is correct to use 'I am going to' in the dialogue below because Molly made that plan before the moment of speaking.

    Having said that, shouldn't the definition be 'Plans for the (immediate)
    future that have been decided in past'.
    I think 'immediate' should be in parentheses.


    Situation: Molly and her mother are at home.
    A: Why are you switching on the computer?
    B: Because I am going to write a couple of e-mails to my friends, mum.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SReynolds Senior Member

    Hungarian
    I don't know whether it's correct to say I am going to, but I for one would say:

    Because I want to write a couple of e-mails to my friends, mom.

    My reasoning is that the fact that you have plans to write letters to your friends has got nothing to do with the original question. If your mom asks this question, it would be more appropriate to respond with your intent, not your plans. I don't know if this makes any sense to you, but this is what I personally think.
     
  3. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Well, I'm going to disagree with that a little by saying that it denotes an intention to do something, but the proposed action can be decided upon on the spur of the moment and carried out all in the present. It can describe an intention for the immediate future as in Molly writing her emails or it could refer to the more distant or almost indefinite future: "I'm going to find somewhere to study A level Italian."
     
  4. Tenacious Learner

    Tenacious Learner Senior Member

    Spanish
    Hello DonnyB,
    Thank you for your reply and comments.
    Then can the definition be written like this 'One of the uses of 'be going to' is to express plans for the immediate or more distant future that have been decided in the past'?
    Should I write 'intentions' instead of 'plans' in the definition?

    I found these explanations. What do you think?
    When we talk about the "future tense" we often talk about 'arrangements, plans or intentions'.
    The three go in decreasing order of how much work has been done.
    "I have made arrangements to visit Paris." <- I have a hotel room reserved, and have requested time off from work.
    "I have made plans to visit Paris." <- I've decided when I want to go, and have thought about what I want to see in the city.
    "I intend to visit Paris." <- I want to go there at some point in the future.

    TL
     
  5. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It was also the "...that have been decided in the past" which I was querying. It's perfectly possible to decide something on the spur of the moment and announce it as "I'm going to ..[do something]".

    I'm a little confused by the explanations of the future tense that you've given there because none of them are actually using a future tense. :confused:
    Sticking to the thread title, you could say "I'm going to visit Paris" and the third one "I intend to visit Paris" is closest in overall meaning but it certainly could include elements of the second one "I have made plans to visit Paris" as well.
     
  6. Tenacious Learner

    Tenacious Learner Senior Member

    Spanish
    Hello DonnyB,
    If you are a little confuse by my explanations it is because they must be as clear a mud. In fact, those are not explanations of the future tense, they are to explain the differences among 'arrangements, plans or intentions'.:oops:

    TL
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015

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