Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 25
    #1

    tenses

    Hi,
    I've got three doubts about tenses:
    1- As soon as she comes back from her holidays she has to make a decision/she will have to make a decision about her future.
    2- As she went/was going out of the room, she dropped her jumper.
    3- They've already booked a holiday in Greece. They are leaving/are going to leave on 28th July.

    In my opinion, in sentence 1 and 2 both versions are correct, but in the third one the form to be going to is wrong, as it is not just a prediction or an intention but a definite arrangement...Am I right?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: tenses

    Welcome to the thread, clairec. :hi

    Both versions are possible in all three. In #3, BE+going (to) suggests, as it almost always does, that there is present evidence of a future situation.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 25
    #3

    Re: tenses

    Thank you for your reply... I felt quite certain about the use of to be going to, since in the ...old manual, A Practical English Grammar by Thomson and Martinet they offer this example:
    I'm meeting Tom at the station at six
    I'm going to meet Tom at the station at six.
    Although the second can be an alternative to the first one, they say that the latter implies that it is not an arrangement, and that Tom may get a surprise!

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: tenses

    Thomson and Martinet have some strange ideas sometimes. In practical terms, there is very little difference in meaning between those two sentences.

    Unfortunately, I often read that 'going to' is used for intention. Speakers may imply intention by the way they utter the words, but there is nothing in 'BE+ going to' itself that implies this. Indeed, in such utterances as the two below, there can be no idea of intention.

    Look at those clouds. It's going to pour down soon.
    Bob drives far too fast. He's going to have an accident one day.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 25
    #5

    Re: tenses

    Well, actually I think that is just the other use of to be going to, prediction of a furture event from present evidence. But as for the meaning of "intention", why not? I mean, if for intention we mean something planned before...as in the third sentence I submitted to you.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #6

    Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by clairec View Post
    old manual, A Practical English Grammar by Thomson and Martinet they offer this example:
    I'm meeting Tom at the station at six
    I'm going to meet Tom at the station at six.
    Although the second can be an alternative to the first one, they say that the latter implies that it is not an arrangement, and that Tom may get a surprise!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Thank you for sharing this information with us learners. It was very interesting.

    (2) As a very old man, I found it "interesting" that you consider a book published in

    1986 to be "old."

    (3) I checked Michael Swan's Practical English Usage and discovered great news:

    5jj and you are both correct. As Americans like to say, it's a win-win for everyone.

    (a) As 5jj said, Mr. Swan also says that one use of going to is to predict the future

    on the basis of present evidence: Look at the sky. It's going to rain.

    (b) As Messrs. Thomson and Martinet said, Mr. Swan says that the present progresssive can emphasize

    the idea of "fixed arrangement"; "going to" can emphasize the idea of "intention":

    I'm getting a new job. (It's already been arranged.)

    I'm going to get a new job. (I've decided to.)

    *****
    All of the above information and sentences are Mr. Swan's. The following is only mine, so it may be wrong:

    Mona and I are having dinner tonight. I am going to ask her to marry me. I hope that

    she is not too shocked, for we have been waiting for me to graduate first, but I have

    changed my mind.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #7

    Re: tenses

    "I'm meeting Tom at the station at six
    I'm going to meet Tom at the station at six.

    Although the second can be an alternative to the first one, they say that the latter implies that it is not an arrangement, and that Tom may get a surprise"

    Thomson & Martinet are being too narrow. It is possible that it does not imply an arrangement, but it can do so.

    One of the reasons I stopped referring to T & M years ago was that they do have a tendency to make 'sometimes' statements - without mentioning the word 'sometimes.

  4. shannico's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 366
    #8

    Re: tenses

    It is a sticky one. Specially for Italian learners who have only one way of expressing future events.

    Once I was made to think of differences in meaning between the three forms ( I am including future with Will though I know 5jj won't like that...). by using each one with the verb MARRY

    I will marry Jack. (sudden decision/willingness to marry but haven't got the details yet: date, how, where...).

    I am going to marry Jack (I've got my mind made up and I know I will marry Jack, as a result I might even have a date and some of the details already sorted out - in this I concur with 5jj, it may also mean that Jack knows and has already said yes to my proposal)

    I am marrying Jack (I have proposed to JAck, he's said yes and we are all ready to celebrate the wedding on a given date, we have already told everyone and we have got everything booked and sorted out).

    I hope this helps.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #9

    Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by shannico View Post

    Once I was made to think of differences in meaning between the three forms ( I am including future with Will though I know 5jj won't like that...). by using each one with the verb MARRY.
    I don't dislike that at all. 'Will' is commonly used as a way of expressing the future. I am simply not happy when people call this the future tense.

    I will marry Jack. (sudden decision/willingness to marry but haven't got the details yet: date, how, where...).

    I am going to marry Jack (I've got my mind made up and I know I will marry Jack, as a result I might even have a date and some of the details already sorted out - in this I concur with 5jj, it may also mean that Jack knows and has already said yes to my proposal)

    I am marrying Jack (I have proposed to JAck, he's said yes and we are all ready to celebrate the wedding on a given date, we have already told everyone and we have got everything booked and sorted out).
    I agree with your interpretations of the three. There are other possible interpretations, but you have picked some of the more common ones.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-May-2011, 20:32
  2. Tenses
    By bbhardwa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Apr-2009, 17:21
  3. tenses
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Sep-2008, 19:16
  4. [Grammar] tenses
    By jonjo in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2008, 14:56
  5. Future tenses or Future perfect tenses?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2006, 13:14

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •