"go" as a future auxiliary

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by john_riemann_soong, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    I know that "go" as a weak form of the future tense exists in English and French (as aller) ... but I'm wondering what is the pattern for other languages?
  2. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Can you explain better what you mean, by giving an example in English? Thank you!
  3. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    In Finnish we use instead the verb "to come" to form a kind of future tense (which otherwise doesn't exist in Finnish).

    I'm going to do / je vais faire = tulen tekemään = literally "I come to do".
  4. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Japanese does not have future tense syntactically expressed. The word for "go" can be used as an auxiliary but it means "to complete the action at here-and-now of the speaker."

    From the host to the guest who has announced to leave before lunch time;
    tabete itte kudasai
    eatAnd goAnd honourUs.
    Please eat with us (before you go).
  5. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    "I'm going to do my homework soon" => "I will do my homework after a little while" , etc.
  6. Ilmo

    Ilmo Member Emeritus

    In Spanish the future created using the verb ir (= to go) is even more comnmon in everyday speech than the real grammatical future.
    The conjugation of the verb "ir" is very irregular

    Voy a comprar un coche mañana - I'll buy a car tomorrow

    Inb Swedish the future is composed using the verb komma (to come), like in Finnish, + the conjunction att and the infinitive.

    Jag kommer att köpa en bil i morgon - I'll buy a car tomorrow
  7. cyanista

    cyanista законодательница мод

    I suppose, the periphrastic construction with the verb "to go" exists in most Romance languages. Portuguese and Catalan have it for sure.

    Russian has a curious verbal construction for expressing an intention or a planned action: собираться что-то сделать. The verb собираться is reflexive.

    Она собирается подать на него в суд. - She is going to sue him. Or, literally: She is gathering herself to sue him.
  8. Honour Senior Member

    Türkçe, Türkiye
    That's interesting, French use the verb to come to express recent past.

    Edit: Oh, by the way, in Turkish we don't use the verb to go as an auxiliary.
  9. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    It's used in Finnsh, too, only the main verb gets a different form:

    Je viens de faire = tulen tekemästä = literally "I come from doing"
  10. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Actually, Catalan does not have this same structure.

    The parallel structure in Catalan (and please correct me if I am wrong) would be:
    The structure "vaig a comprar" doesn't exist in Catalan, and would have to be the future tense (ie, comprar + haver):

    Catalan has an interesting past tense (passat perifràstic) in which "vaig comprar" would mean "I bought" or "compré" in Spanish.

    This thread in Catalan may also be interesting to you.
  11. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I cannot speak for all Northern Indic languages, but certainly for Panjabi, Hindi, and Urdu. I presume Gujarati will fall under the same category but I'll leave it for the experts:)

    There is no "voy a comprar" parallel in Panjabi. If you are expressing the idea that you are "about to buy" something, then the suffix /vaalaa/ is added on to the end of the verb. /vaalaa/ has many uses actually, but for this topic I'll limit myself. Therefore, "voy a comprar" would be /mai.n khariidaN vaalaa haa.n/. In Hindi/Urdu /mai.n khariidne vaalaa huu.n/.

    To express the future, the future tense would be used.
    "Voy a comprar" in Panjabi would be /mai.n khariidaa.ngaa/. In Hindi/Urdu, it would be /mai.N khariiduu.ngaa/.

    I was honestly planning and starting a similar thread the other day.
  12. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    In Italian we don't have a particular verb to form the future.

    1. We can use the basic form. For example--> andrò in vacanza = I'll go on holidays
    2. Otherwise we use the structure "ho intenzione di..." which translates the English "to be going to". For example--> ho intenzione di andare in vacanza = I'm going to go on holiday.
  13. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Portuguese does use "to go" (ir) as a future tense auxiliary.

    Vou fazer os meus trabalhos de casa daqui a pouco.
    As in Spanish, this periphrasis has become more common than the simple future in the spoken language.

    Other, less common periphrases with different verbs (and somewhat different meaning) also exist.
  14. betulina Senior Member

    al bressol del basquetbol
    català - Catalunya
    Panja is quite right. Catalan does not have this structure. You might hear it in some contexts of immediaty, but I'm not sure if it is correct. However, the general use of the construction "ir a + infinitive" in Spanish is not correct and it actually sounds really bad in Catalan.
  15. In Search Of Senior Member

    In Norwegian we have the verb "gå" which I know is often confusing to language learners as they use it just as English "go". However, "gå" means "walk" (at least most of the time..) We use "skal" (which might lead Norwegians to overuse the English "shall";))
    Jeg skal dit: I'm going there

    And we also often drop the future tense and use the present when referring to the future:
    Jeg kommer: I'll come/I'm coming
  16. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    La gen ho emplea? De veritat?
  17. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    I find that interesting actually. The "waalaa" indicates the agent noun. In English the agent noun is usually made by adding "-er" to a verb (teacher, learner, player, drinker, etc). In Hindi/Urdu, it is made by following the verb with "waalaa" (sikhaane waalaa, siikhne waalaa, khelne waalaa, piine waalaa). In Arabic, it is made by putting the root letters on the scale of "faa3il" (فاعل) and the agent noun is hence known as إسم الفاعل (ismu 'l-faa3il). The interesting thing is that in BOTH Urdu/Hindi and Arabic, we can use the agent noun to express the idea of the doer of a verb AND the idea of "going to..(do sth)"

    For example:
    أنا شارب [ana shaarib - I am going to drink] (lit. "I am the drinker")
    ميں پينے والا ہوں (maiN piine waalaa hooN - I am going to drink] (lit. "I am the drinker")

    (both the same)

    Panjabigator, Gujarati doesn't actually have a parallel structure to the Urdu/Hindi "waalaa". Usually we can translate word-for-word from/to Gujarati from/to Hindi and it means the same thing. Here that is not the case. If we translate it from Hindi literally, then "maiN piine waalaa hooN" would translate literally "HuN piivaa vaaro Chu" which strictly means "I am the drinker", and not "I am going to drink". To say "I am going to drink", we'd say "HuN piivaano Chu". To say "I will drink", we'd say "HuN piiviish" (like Hindi "maiN piiungaa")
  18. Vejrudsigt

    Vejrudsigt Member

    United States; English
    Danish uses "(subject) kommer til at (infinitive)":

    Hun kommer til at flyve bort. [She's going to fly away.]

    Vi kommer til at vinde! [We're going to win!]

    Ole kommer til at synge til os. [Ole is going to sing to us.]

    There's also the construction "(subject) skal til at (infinitive)", which means "to be about to":

    Jeg skal til at falde! [I'm about to fall!]

    Deres kat skal til at spise sin mad. [Their cat is about to eat its food.]

    Han skal til at begynde. [He's about to begin.]
  19. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English

    Very interesting and an example of structures between Indic examples where parallelism is not found. Can you apply a name to the structure used in /piivaano/? My initial instinct was to refer to this Gujarati structure as an infinitive, but that would certainly be wrong.
  20. parakseno

    parakseno Senior Member

    Romanian, Romania
    Romanian doesn't use the equivalant of "to go" as an auxiliary verb. Therefore, "aller"+vb/ "I'm going to" + vb type of future does not exist in Romanian. The verb "to want" ("a vrea"/ "a voi") is used to form the future:
    I will go. - voi merge.

  21. Amerikanyets Member

    США - Английский
    The "ir + a" construction was the first portion of Spanish they taught us in school. We then learned "me gusta(n)" (I like).
  22. mcibor Senior Member

    In Polish I'm going to is explained by teachers as zamierzam (I'm planning to).

    However there are many verbs in Polish derived from go (iść), which have future meaning:

    doing math problem: Jak tylko do tego dojdę - 'If I "come" to that specific line / problem', but also 'As soon as I solve it'.

    Dojdę - dojść - to make it, to figure out,
    There are many more verbs derived from go that can have future meaning, but exactly such an auxilary doesn't exists in Polish - you cannot use them with other verbs.
  23. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    In Dutch we have the same: gaan + infinitive = (one of the means to express) future.
    Ik ga zwemmen (swim).

    In Farsi, it is also possible to use 'to go' as a way to express future:
    Miravam shenâ (be)konam.
    Lit. I go 'swim do (I)'
    But (be)konam is a kind of subjunctive.


  24. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Frank, why does the Farsi one need the subjunctive?
  25. Petrucci369 Member

    Denmark - Danish
    "Go" is not used in danish. There are some ways to express that something is going to happen in the future (as posted by Vejrudsigt) However, the future meaning of a phrase is often to be found in the context.The most common way to express that something is going to happen is to add when it will happen. Later(senere), tomorrow(i morgen), soon(snart) etc.
  26. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Hmm, this is interesting. So perhaps English didn't borrow it from Romance after all. Or it could be just a Western Romance feature, though Catalan seems to be an exception, It doesn't seem to be universal throughout the Germanic languages since Danish doesn't have it. What does German use?
  27. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Heine and Kuteva (2002) list the following languages that have grammaticalized "go to" as a future marker:
    Bari, Sotho, Zulu, Margi, Klao, Igbo, Teso, Ecuadorian Quechua, Tzotzil, Tamil, Basque, and "more than half of all pidgins and creoles", including Krio, Negerhollands, Haitian

    The authors note that "this grammaticalization appears to be an instance of a more general process whereby process verbs are grammaticalized to markers for tense or aspect functions." English did not necessarily borrow it from anywhere.
  28. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Heh, Haitian creole is French-based, which had the "aller + verb" construction originally. The modern (post 1500s) era, anyway.

    What does "grammaticalize" mean? Does it mean there was a recorded instance where the language lacked this feature and then a recorded instance where it appeared?

    I'm wondering if English inherited this aspect from Anglo-Saxon or it was born spontaneously by itself, for example.
  29. bb3ca201 Senior Member

    Toronto sa Chanada
    English/Scottish Gaelic, Canada
    In Gaelic we certainly use it. It's the same structure, but with Gaelic words:

    tha mi a' dol + infinitive
    I'm going to + infinitive

    Here's some examples for you:

    tha mise a' dol ga chuideachadh / I'm going to help him.
    tha mise a' dol a sgriobhadh litir. / I'm going to write a letter.

    The simple future is entirely possible in these constructions; however, these give the idea of determination.
  30. HistofEng Senior Member

    New York
    USA Eng, Haitian-Creole
    The "to be going to" construction is also used in Haitian Creole to generally refer to the immediate future.

    I'm going to drive.
    Mwen pral kondui.
  31. Oluc (Yvon)

    Oluc (Yvon) Banned

    Ottawa, Canada
    Français, English
    The closest the Italian language comes to "going to ..." or "je vais ..." or "voy a ..." is "sto per ..." (from the auxiliary "stare" in opposition to the verb "essere").
    "I'm going to work hard/tomorrow" instead of "I will work hard ..."
    "Je vais travailler fort/demain" instead of "Je travaillerai fort ..."
    "Voy a trabajar duro/manana" instead of "Trabajaré duro ..."
    "Sto per lavorare duro/domani" instead of "Lavorarò duro ... " (Can someone confirm this as I am not positive?)
  32. Lugubert Senior Member

    No future 'go' in Swedish.

    It may not be obvious to non-Scandinavians that kommer is the present of 'to come'.

    It is parallelled in Swedish. The same sentence: Hon kommer att flyga bort.

    We also use ska(ll) (cf. 'shall') for the future: Hon ska flyga bort, which aslo may mean that she has to go. (Skall is only written language.)
  33. chriskardos Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Hungary, Hungarian
    i think in Hungarian it could be: Majd
    Majd elmegyek - i will go
    Biztos hogy elmegyek - i'm going to go

    or something like that.
  34. Consimmer Member

    New Jersey, USA
    Malaysia, English and Malay Language
    I think I understand the topic, so if in English "I'm going to..." in Malay it is usually "Saya akan..." where akan indicates a future activity. Another form would be "Nanti saya..." where nanti indicates an activity soon to happen that you'll have to wait for. Nanti is also used as a verb for 'wait'.
  35. Kangy Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Argentina [Spanish]
    Yeah, as it's been already mentioned, Spanish uses the verb ir (to go) to form the future. The construction is ir + a + (verb inf). Here, a means to (ie, I go to...)

    Voy a escribir una carta = I'm going to write a letter / I'll write a letter
  36. Orreaga

    Orreaga Senior Member

    New Mexico
    USA; English
    But for clarity: "majd" is not from the verb "to go" in Hungarian (and is not a verb form at all). The verbal auxiliary for the future tense in Hungarian is "fog--" (with personal ending), which can be translated as "take". "Menni" ("to go") is not used as a future auxiliary in Hungarian.
  37. knight_2004 Member

    In Arabic:
    Just add the letter "S" to the beginning of the present tense verb, and it means "I am going to.."

    (أذهب إلى المدرسة) Ath-hab ela El-Madrasa = I go to school.
    (سأذهب إلى المدرسة) Sa-Ath-hab ela El-Madrasa = I am going to go to school.

    (يذهب إلى المدرسة) Yath-hab ela El-Madrasa = He goes to school.
    (سيذهب إلى المدرسة) Sa-Yath-hab ela El-Madrasa = He is going to go to school.

    Another form, add the word "Sawfa" to the beginning of the sentence (present tense sentence,) and it means "I will..."

    (أذهب إلى المدرسة) Ath-hab ela El-Madrasa = I go to school.
    (سوف أذهب إلى المدرسة) Sawfa Ath-hab ela El-Madrasa = I will go to school.

    (يذهب إلى المدرسة) Yath-hab ela El-Madrasa = He goes to school.
    (سوف يذهب إلى المدرسة) Sawfa Yath-hab ela El-Madrasa = He will go to school.

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