Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
    • Posts: 68
    #1

    Going to

    Hi,
    I have two sentences:


    1. He is going to eat.
    2. He is going to school.


    In the first sentence "to eat" is an infinitive (to + verb).
    In the second sentence "to school" is a prepositional phrase (to + noun).


    What is the difference between the two sentences in terms of time?


    Is the second sentence (to + noun) happening in the moment of speaking? He already started walking to school? I mean he is moving his legs in the moment of speaking.


    Is the first sentence (to + verb) happening a bit later? (1-2 or 5-10 minutes later) not exactly in the moment of speaking?


    I would be grateful for any help. Thank you!

  1. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #2

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltankr View Post
    Hi,
    I have two sentences:


    1. He is going to eat.
    2. He is going to school.


    In the first sentence "to eat" is an infinitive (to + verb).
    In the second sentence "to school" is a prepositional phrase (to + noun).


    What is the difference between the two sentences in terms of time?


    Is the second sentence (to + noun) happening in the moment of speaking? He already started walking to school? I mean he is moving his legs in the moment of speaking.


    Is the first sentence (to + verb) happening a bit later? (1-2 or 5-10 minutes later) not exactly in the moment of speaking?


    I would be grateful for any help. Thank you!
    1) In the first sentence he hasn't started eating yet, but there are signs in his behaviour which make us think he will start eating very soon.
    2) In the second sentence two variants are possible - he may be "moving his legs" going towards the school (if the verb to go used in its literal meaning) or he may be not, just showing his intention to start moving towards the school (in this case the verb to go is used as an auxiliary verb in the structure to be going to with the meaning "to intend"). As you can see, we need to know the context.

    As to your speculations about to + noun and to + verb, they are pointless in this case (IMHO).
    Last edited by englishhobby; 03-Jan-2014 at 19:00.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    1) In the first sentence he hasn't started eating yet, but there are signs in his behaviour which make us think he will start eating very soon.
    Not necessarily. We may have evidence of some other kind of the future eating.
    2) In the second sentence two variants are possible - he may be "moving his legs" going towards the school (if the verb to go used in its literal meaning) or he may be not, just showing his intention to start moving towards the school (in this case the verb to go is used as an auxiliary verb in the structure to be going to with the meaning "to intend").
    The verb is not an auxiliary in either case. It is true that he may be actually on the way to school, or that his going to school may be in the future. Context will make this clear, but in both cases, 'is going' is the main verb. "He is going to go to school" is a different construction.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,516
    #4

    Re: Going to

    englishhobby, please read this extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

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

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,312
    #5

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    1) In the first sentence he hasn't started eating yet, but there are signs in his behaviour which make us think he will start eating very soon.
    2) In the second sentence two variants are possible - he may be "moving his legs" going towards the school (if the verb to go used in its literal meaning) or he may be not, just showing his intention to start moving towards the school (in this case the verb to go is used as an auxiliary verb in the structure to be going to with the meaning "to intend"). As you can see, we need to know the context.

    As to your speculations about to + noun and to + verb, they are pointless in this case (IMHO).
    There is another possible meaning of "he is going to school" as well. It could simply describe someone as a student.

    Does your son have a job?

    No, he's still going to school.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
    • Posts: 68
    #6

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    There is another possible meaning of "he is going to school" as well. It could simply describe someone as a student.

    Does your son have a job?

    No, he's still going to school.
    Thank you. I think I understand it now.

    1. Where is he going?
    He is going to school. (happening at the moment of speaking)

    2. Is your son working?
    No. He is going to school. (attending)

    Anyway both answers are in the present continuous tense. Right?

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,925
    #7

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltankr View Post
    Thank you. I think I understand it now.

    1. Where is he going?
    He is going to school. (happening at the moment of speaking)

    2. Is your son working?
    No. He is going to school. (attending)

    Anyway both answers are in the present continuous tense. Right?
    Yes, both answers are in the present continuous.

    Remember that a variation on the second dialogue (and a variation which I find more natural) is

    - Does your son have a job? (Does your son work?)
    - No, he goes to school.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #8

    Re: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby
    1) In the first sentence he hasn't started eating yet, but there are signs in his behaviour which make us think he will start eating very soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Not necessarily. We may have evidence of some other kind of the future eating.
    5jj, could you give an example?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  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: Going to

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    5jj, could you give an example?
    A: Why's Luke going into the pub. It's a bit early to start drinking, isn't it?
    B: He is going to eat.


    The speaker, a friend of Luke, knows that Luke goes to the pub at this time every day to have his lunch.

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
  •