before I am going to sleep

  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "I am going to finish my report before I'm going to sleep."

    Shouldn't it be "before I go to sleep"?
    I think "yes, it should". I think that "before I'm going to sleep" in this sentence is so unidiomatic in my form of English that I consider it wrong. I don't use "before" with the continuous verb form. However, Hatgray, if you are in India, this use of "before I am going" is, I understand, idiomatic.

    There is nothing omitted in "I am going to finish my report before going to sleep." In that sentence I regard "going" as a verbal noun.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AE you can write these, which have the same meaning:

    I am going to finish my report before I go to sleep.
    I am going to finish my report before going to sleep.

    But what the above really mean is:

    I am going to finish my report before I go to bed.
    I am going to finish my report before going to bed.

    "I am going to sleep" means "I am in bed, trying to fall asleep, but I have not fallen asleep yet."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    My apologies, then, Barque. I understood that the present continuous was used widely by English speakers in India in situations where BE speakers would not use it. The context of this thread is one of those situations and is exactly the sort of thing I have heard said by immigrants from the Indian sub-continent, including people with a good standard of education. By "sort of thing" I mean sentences of the form "I am going to do this thing before I am going to do that thing".
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I understood that the present continuous was used widely by English speakers in India
    Yes, you're right but I generally hear it used where the simple present would be more appropriate (or the future continuous in place of the simple future).

    I'm leaving for work at 9 a.m. every day.
    I will be giving you an update tomorrow.

    But I don't think I've heard something like:
    "I am going to finish my report before I'm going to sleep."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Of course I accept your observation, but "I am going to finish my report before I'm going to sleep" is an example where the simple present would be appropriate "... before I go to sleep".
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes it is. But I'd expect to hear: I am going to finish my report before going to sleep, without a second I am. I was referring specifically to the use of the present continuous with I am repeated which I don't think I've heard.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Perhaps we have a slightly crossed wire.
    But I'd expect to hear: I am going to finish my report before going to sleep, without a second I am.
    Yes, that is what I would expect also, but the OP had "before I'm going to sleep." I think we agree about that being wrong in standard forms of English.
     
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