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4.2.3. Be going to
"Be going to" is similar to the present progressive form (PrPro) representing the future, because it also means arrangement and implicates a cause or a plan in the present. It can sometimes be paraphrased with PrPro. But it often implicates the speaker's intention. See the following examples.

a. She's going to have a baby in July.
b. I think I'm going to be sick.
c. We are going to have a shower soon.

As you know, the above means the causes or the plans are in the present. (10a) means she is pregnant, (10b) means s/he is bad and (10c) means the weather is bad.
(10c) can be compared as follows.

a. It is going to rain tomorrow.
b.*It is raining tomorrow.

(11b) uses PrPro and is unacceptable, because PrPro implicates agreement as you know, that is, the weather does not depend on it. "Be going to" also means promise.

(11b) can be used naturally as the mere PrPro below.

It is raining today.

The next figure is "be going to."


The above is equal to PrPro. M is put at the present when the cause or the plan exists. The co-occurrence of the adverbials depend on the speaker. When the adverb is not seen, it naturally implicates the near future time. (*19)

*19 "Be going to" can be used with the far future time adverbs. See the following example.

My daughter is going to become a teacher when she grows up.

When clause expresses the far future, therefore, it might be thought that the focus is put at the future. But the focus is put at the present strongly, because to use the above, the speaker needs to know the daughter's intention in the present.

Moreover, if the speaker and the subject is the same, the speaker's intention is often seen. The next (14b) is not acceptable because of this.

a. I'll be eighteen next spring.
b. *I'm going to be eighteen next year.
(Yasui : 1982)

The reason why (14b) is odd is because to get old is not related to the intention.
The next examples compare with PrPro.

a. I'm bringing the apple pie to my aunt.
b. I'm going to bring the apple pie to my aunt.

(15a) means preparing the apple pie but (15b) means mere intention.

Now, the past form of "be going to" expresses an event was not occurred. See the following examples.

a. I was going to call on you.
b. Something was going to happen.

The cause or the plans were at the past but the events were not occurred, therefore, these are also seen as follows.

a. I was going to call on you, but I couldn't.
b. Something was going to happen, but nothing happened.

These are shown as follows.


*20 As looking at the future from the past, the time representation can also be seen as follows.

E is not put at the future, but is put between M and S.

Time feeling

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