It's getting late. I have to [be going, go] now.

wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

It's getting late. I have to [be going, go] now.

Do you feel any differences in meaning or connotation between 'be going' and 'go'?
 
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In the context of friends parting after a visit, I feel a difference. "Go" is somehow abrupt. "Be going" drags the idea out just long enough to sound friendly. (That could very well be just me.)
     

    Pauline Meryle

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with srk that "be going" does seem to soften the blow a bit. But I'm not sure everyone would be sensitive to the difference. Certainly 'I have to go now" would not usually be considered rude.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with SRK, although the difference is slight. "I have to go now" = I must walk out the door right now. "I have to be going now" = I must walk out that door within a very short time; I'm in the process of getting ready to do so.
     
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