Unit 9: The big wedding
Present continuous and 'going to' for future
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- 1 Nice to meet you!
- 2 What to wear
- 3 Like this, like that
- 4 The daily grind
- 5 Christmas every day
- 6 Great achievers
- 7 The Titanic
- 8 Travel
- 9 The big wedding
- 10 Sunny's job hunt
- 11 The bucket list
- 12 Moving and migration
- 13 Welcome to BBC Broadcasting House
- 14 New Year, New Project
- 15 From Handel to Hendrix
- 16 What's the weather like?
- 17 The Digital Revolution
- 18 A detective story
- 19 A place to live
- 20 The Cult of Celebrity
- 21 Welcome to your new job
- 22 Beyond the planets
- 23 Great expectations!
- 24 Eco-tourism
- 25 Moving house
- 26 It must be love
- 27 Job hunting success... and failure
- 28 Speeding into the future
- 29 Lost arts
- 30 Tales of survival
This time we look at the differences between present continuous and going to. We do an activity to help us learn the rules, and then practise by listening to a conversation between a married couple: Marco and Flavia. After that we have 6 Minute Grammar!
Present continuous and 'going to'
In this session we've looked at the wedding plans of three different couples, and learned how to talk about the future using the present continuous and 'going to'. Now, it's time for 6 Minute Grammar with Rob, Emma and Finn to help us practise the unit's new grammar.
Talking about making plans… what is Finn doing tonight? Listen to the programme to find out!
Listen to the audio
Hello again. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Finn.
And me, Emma. Hello.
In today’s programme we’re looking at two ways to talk about the future.
Let’s start with some sample sentences. Rob, can we have an example of a future arrangement?
Sure. Farid is meeting his cousin at the airport on Saturday.
Thanks Rob. The sentence Farid is meeting his cousin at the airport on Saturday describes an arrangement, made between two people, to do a particular activity, at a particular time.
Yes, and we can use present continuous, that’s subject plus am, is or are plus verb i-n-g to talk about this type of future arrangement. Now, let’s look at going to. We use going to with an infinitive verb to talk about future plans – things we intend to do. An example please Rob?
When I finish university, I’m going to spend a year travelling.
I’m going to spend a year travelling. That sounds like an exciting plan. And another please:
Simon and Ibrahim are going to spend the whole weekend playing football.
So Simon and Ibrahim have some interesting plans too. But, do they seem very similar to arrangements, would you say, Emma?
Well yes, they do. We can often use either the present continuous or going to for future plans.
So we could say: I’m meeting some friends for a drink tonight.
Or you could say: I’m going to meet some friends for a drink tonight.
But sometimes we can only use going to. Here’s an example.
It’s really cold. I think it’s going to snow.
It’s going to snow. That isn’t a plan, and it isn’t an arrangement.
But the speaker can say what’s going to happen, based on the present situation – whatever is happening now.
And to do this, it’s subject plus am, is or are, plus going to plus an infinitive verb without to.
You’re listening to BBC learning English.
And we’re looking at present continuous for future arrangements, and going to plus a verb to talk about future plans and arrangements – and things we know are going to happen based on the present situation.
That’s right. So, Finn, are you doing anything interesting tonight?
Well, I’m taking my girlfriend to the theatre and the play is starting at 7 o’clock.
Ooh very good. What are you going to [gonna] see?
Aha! Emma I do believe you’re asking me questions about my future arrangements and plans! You asked me a yes/no present continuous question:
Are you doing anything interesting tonight?
And you asked me a question word going to question:
What are you gonna see? You’re quite right Finn, and I used a special short form of going to that we usually only find in informal spoken English: I said gonna. Gonna. It’s very common in spoken English. What are you gonna see?
That’s right. The long form is: What are you going to see?
And the informal short form is: What are you gonna see? What are you gonna see?
Well, I’ll tell you later – but first, it’s time for a quiz. So, question 1: Imagine you’re at a football match. Your team is playing really well. Do you say a) I’m sure they’re going to score a goal! Or do you say b) I’m sure they are scoring a goal!
And the answer is a) I’m sure they are going to score a goal!
That’s right – based on the present situation – they are playing well – we can talk about a probable future situation with going to: I’m sure they are going to score a goal.
Right, question 2 - which is correct? a) We’re gonna going by train. b) We’re going go by train. Or c) We’re gonna go by train.
It’s c) We’re gonna go by train. It’s the shorter, spoken form of: We’re going to go by train.
Now, number 3. Which is a correct future sentence: a) Hurry up – the train is leaving. Or b) Hurry up – the train is going to leave in ten minutes?
And the correct answer is b) the train is going to leave in ten minutes. Sentence a) needs a time expression to give it future meaning.
Yes indeed. Well, I’m going to leave in a minute, because I’m going to see a Shakespeare play with my girlfriend. See you next time, Emma!
Don’t forget - there’s lots more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.
So, Finn's going to the theatre to watch a Shakespeare play! And you heard a lot about other future plans.
That's it for Session 2! We hope you've enjoyed it.
Join us again in Session 3 as we meet a very busy wedding planner and help them organise their diary.
Use going to
To talk about something we have decided to do in the future, but not arranged yet.
I’m going to spend a year travelling.
Use the present continuous
To talk about something we have decided to do in the future, and made arrangements for. It’s definite, not just an idea.
I’m meeting a client at 2pm.