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Thread: I'm going to go

  1. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: I'm going to go

    I think Phaedrus' point is just that I'm going to the store and I'm going to go to the store mean different things. The 'be going to' bit makes an independent semantic contribution.

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    #12

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I think Phaedrus' point is just that I'm going to the store and I'm going to go to the store mean different things. T
    In a sentence such as I am going/going to go to the store after dinner, there is very little difference in meaning.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #13

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    In a sentence such as I am going/going to go to the store after dinner, there is very little difference in meaning.
    Yes, exactly—there is a difference in meaning, albeit little.

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    #14

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    If one is going to the store, isn't one in transit to the store? How is that the same thing as intending or planning to go there?
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It isn't the same thing. As always, context is our guide.

    1. I was going to the store, but I didn't have time.
    I didn't go.
    By not italicizing "I didn't go," you have indicated that "I didn't go" is not part of the context but your interpretation. What about the ducks, Piscean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    If one is in transit to some place, it is not clear, in a contextual vacuum, what not having enough time means. Consider this:

    A: What were you doing at two o'clock this afternoon? If, as I think, you were going to the store, did you by chance stop to see the ducks?
    B: I was going to the store, but I didn't have enough time.


    In such a highly specialized context, the sentence I have described as semantically anomalous actually makes sense.

    It means: I was on my way to the store at two o'clock this afternoon, but I didn't have enough time to stop to see the ducks.
    As is clear from that example, not having (enough) time in our example need not mean I didn't have (enough) time to go to the store.

    Meanwhile, consider how little sense it would make to say ?I was going to go to the store, but I didn't have enough time to stop to see the ducks.

    I think you will agree that not having enough time to stop to see the ducks bears no inherent contrastive relationship to intending to go to the store.

    Yet not having enough time to go to the store manifestly does bear an inherent contrastive relationship to intending to go to the store.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I am not alone in my feelings about this possible meaning of the past progressive. Quirk et al, for example, say:

    (p 210) It [the Progressive aspect] may be used to refer to the future or to the future in the past [my emphasis added]:

    Are you going to the meeting (tomorrow?
    They were getting married the following spring.

    (p 218) Future time in the past [...]


    (c) PAST PROGRESSIVE (arrangement predetermined in the past)

    I was meeting him in Bordeaux the next day.
    Of course, I do not mean to suggest that I deny the possibility of the predetermined-arrangement-in-the-past meaning of the past progressive.

    A: Why had you put on your jeans?
    B: I was going to the store.


    But I contend that this meaning leans heavily on the context as a guide, requiring it to keep the in-the-act-of-doing-something meaning at bay.

    Consider the following contrast:

    (i) I encountered a lot of traffic while going to the store.
    (ii) ?*! I encountered a lot of traffic while going to go to the store.

    I find (ii) ungrammatical, but I'll rest content with calling it absolutely ridiculous.

    Regarding (i), should you want to say that a predetermined-arrangement-in-the-past meaning is possible? I, for one, find it inconceivable there.

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    #15

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Of course, I do not mean to suggest that I deny the possibility of the predetermined-arrangement-in-the-past meaning of the past progressive.
    Good. When you dismissed as 'nonsense' a sentence I considered possible, I thought that you might be suggesting this,
    But I contend that this meaning leans heavily on the context as a guide, requiring it to keep the in-the-act-of-doing-something meaning at bay.
    I agree.

    Consider the following contrast:

    (i) I encountered a lot of traffic while going to the store.
    (ii) ?*! I encountered a lot of traffic while going to go to the store.

    I find (ii) ungrammatical, but I'll rest content with calling it absolutely ridiculous.
    I agree.

    Regarding (i), should you want to say that a predetermined-arrangement-in-the-past meaning is possible?
    No.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #16

    Re: I'm going to go

    Note that when we're talking about a plan we had but didn't carry out, the stress is on the past verb.

    Alan: What did you do last night?
    Helen: Well, I was going to the cinema but I decided I couldn't be bothered so I stayed home and watched Netflix.

    The stress is on "was" to indicate that going to the cinema was the original plan.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 21-Sep-2020 at 12:29. Reason: Add a missing word.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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