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Thread: GOING TO, ETC

  1. #1
    jwschang Guest

    Default GOING TO, ETC

    IMO, the following sentences 1 to 10 are in the Simple Present or Simple Past, and not the Continuous tenses or the Passive Voice. (The underlined part is a predicate adjective phrase modifying the subject of the verb BE.) What do you kind people think?

    1. I am going to eat. (simple present)
    2. He is going to sleep. (simple present)
    3. We are going to sing. (simple present)
    4. She was going to laugh. (simple past)
    5. They were going to cry. (simple past)
    6. I am determined to argue. (simple present)
    7. He is determined to respond. (simple present)
    8. We are determined to observe. (simple present)
    9. She was determined to score. (simple past)
    10. They were determined to yawn. (simple past)

    11. I am hoping to meet you. (Present continuous? Not grammatical. Should be: I hope to meet you.)
    12. I am intending to write. (Present continuous? Not grammatical. Should be: I intend to write.)

    Going to = hoping to = intending to (approximate same meaning). :wink:

    As a contrast:
    I am typing. (present continuous)
    I am told not to stop. (simple present, passive)

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It is one way of looking at them, but if you transform the a bit, then it suggests that the structure underlying is not identical, unless you susbtitue a completely different word for 'going'. You can say 'my determination was to argue', but no similar sentence can be generated with the first examples. Also, the time of the future is important as for the very near future, then would they be adjectives or verbs? (Putting on my coat- I'm going to meet my father at the station. Is this an intention pure and simple?)

    BTW- 'hoping' and 'intending' can be grammatically correct if circumstances demand the use of the progressive. Most verbs that don't usually take this form can under certain circumstances. IMO, there's nothing wrong with saying 'I am hoping to get the cheque in this morning's post', where the progressive adds to the expectation and urgency.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GOING TO, ETC

    It looks good on the surface but it has its problems.

    Consider:

    Predicate Adjective
    I am happy
    ==> Happy is what I am. (OK)

    I am going to eat
    ==> Going to eat is what I am. (Not Ok)

    Verb Phrase
    I am going to eat.
    ==> Going to eat is what I am going to do (OK).

    Predicate Adjective
    Determined to argue is what I am. (OK)

    Going to = future plan
    Hoping to = future aspiration
    intending to = future intention

    Predicate Adjective
    I am typing.
    ==> Typing I am. (Not OK)

    Verb Phase
    I am told not to stop.
    ==> Not to stop is what I am told. (OK)

    :D

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Nice transformations, Cas.

  5. #5
    jwschang Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It is one way of looking at them, but if you transform the a bit, then it suggests that the structure underlying is not identical, unless you susbtitue a completely different word for 'going'. You can say 'my determination was to argue', but no similar sentence can be generated with the first examples. Also, the time of the future is important as for the very near future, then would they be adjectives or verbs? (Putting on my coat- I'm going to meet my father at the station. Is this an intention pure and simple?)

    BTW- 'hoping' and 'intending' can be grammatically correct if circumstances demand the use of the progressive. Most verbs that don't usually take this form can under certain circumstances. IMO, there's nothing wrong with saying 'I am hoping to get the cheque in this morning's post', where the progressive adds to the expectation and urgency.
    Thanks TDOL. Your points are noted, but I still think that there is something uncommon or unusual here. If we ask which is the MAIN verb in the following sentences:

    1a He was hoping to eat. (Main verb hope)
    1b. He was eating. (Main verb eat)
    1c. He was going to eat. (Main verb?)
    2. He ought to eat. (Main verb eat)
    3. He should eat. (Main verb eat)
    4. He must eat. (Main verb eat)
    5. He will eat. (Main verb eat)
    6. He was about to eat. (No auxiliary used, simple past of "be")

    I think that (1c) is not in the nature of (1a) and (1b), but is similar to (2) thru (5). "Going" acts like the modal auxiliaries, and conveys the same genre of meaning: intention, obligation, compulsion, possibility, etc.

    (A) If we take the main verb in (1c) as "go", it means the substantive action is the movement "go", which is not the case. In (1a) the substantive action is "hope"; in (1b) the substantve action is "eat", and so is the case with (1c) and (2) thru (5).

    (B) The meaning of "going" here is definitely not as in "I am going home".

    (C) We can't stop at "He is going......", just as we can't stop at "He ought/should/must/will......."

    (D) The usage of "going" as meaning "intending" is so ubiquitous that I believe it is a case of its serving or acting as an auxiliary.

    Is this worthy of serious thought and argument?

  6. #6
    jwschang Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Also, the time of the future is important as for the very near future, then would they be adjectives or verbs? (Putting on my coat- I'm going to meet my father at the station. Is this an intention pure and simple?)
    What about the differences in the following:

    1. Putting on my coat, I'm going to meet my father.
    2. Putting on my coat, I shall meet my father.
    3. Putting on my coat, I shall go to meet my father.
    4. Putting on my coat, I am proceeding to meet my father.

    I think (1) and (2) are closer in meaning. The futurity conveyed in (3) is not really the message in (1). As you pointed out, the imminence of the action should be a key factor as to the tense. The "meeting" is more imminent in both (1) and (2) compared to (3).

  7. #7
    jwschang Guest

    Default Re: GOING TO, ETC

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It looks good on the surface but it has its problems.

    Consider:

    Predicate Adjective
    I am happy
    ==> Happy is what I am. (OK)

    I am going to eat
    ==> Going to eat is what I am. (Not Ok)
    Agreed, that is not what "I am". I am here (predicate adverb). Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!! Otherwise, I'd say its an adverb phrase modifying "am".

    Verb Phrase
    I am going to eat.
    ==> Going to eat is what I am going to do (OK).

    Predicate Adjective
    Determined to argue is what I am. (OK)

    Going to = future plan
    Hoping to = future aspiration
    intending to = future intention

    Predicate Adjective
    I am typing.
    ==> Typing I am. (Not OK)
    No, that's not a predicate adjective. My post said this one is the present continuous, to contrast with the usage of "going".

    Verb Phase
    I am told not to stop.
    ==> Not to stop is what I am told. (OK)
    :D
    Thanks for the input, Cas. Please see response in red. :)

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: GOING TO, ETC

    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang
    Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!!
    Unless I'm being stupid here, I don't get the point about adverb phrases:
    I'm leaving tomorrow morning.

    Isn't that an adverb phrase?

  9. #9
    jwschang Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    BTW- 'hoping' and 'intending' can be grammatically correct if circumstances demand the use of the progressive. Most verbs that don't usually take this form can under certain circumstances. IMO, there's nothing wrong with saying 'I am hoping to get the cheque in this morning's post', where the progressive adds to the expectation and urgency.
    Yes, they can definitely be used in the right context.
    BTW, I raised this issue just for academic discussion. It will be quite a horror to put this point to students. They will be confused no end. On the practical side, it is definitely better to leave it be, as a continuous tense. :wink:

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    At elemtary level, I would teach the simple form as the one to use. Later on, we can deal with the niceties. The progressive here carries a subtle shade of meaning that is more appropriate to a more advanced learner.

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