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Thread: I'm going to go

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    #1

    I'm going to go

    Hello.

    I heard from a non-native speaker that it's wrong to say "go" after "going to".

    Is that true?

    Is this wrong?

    I'm going to go to the grocery store after dinner.

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    #2

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    I heard from a non-native speaker that it's wrong to say "go" after "going to".

    Is that true?

    Is this wrong?

    I'm going to go to the grocery store after dinner.
    It's fine to say that. In fluid speech, native speakers usually say gonna go. Don't use that in writing except in very casual settings.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: I'm going to go

    I wonder what she was talking about. Maybe she got confused. Is there something that "can't" be used immediately after "going to"?

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    #4

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    I wonder what she was talking about. Maybe she got confused. Is there something that "can't" be used immediately after "going to"?
    You can either follow it with an appropriate noun or with a bare infinitive.

    "I'm going to the store."
    "I'm going to make dinner."
    "If you kids don't quiet down, I'm going to go crazy."
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    #5

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Maybe she got confused.
    If "going to go to" seems redundant in "I'm going to go to the store" in light of the fact that we can simply say "I'm going to the store," the independent contribution of the "[be] going to" part, which signifies intention as well as futurity, can very easily be seen in the past tense:

    I was going to go to the store, but I didn't have enough time.

    That sentence may be compared to I intended to go to the store, but I didn't have enough time. Interestingly, "was going to go to the store" cannot be replaced by "was going to the store" in that sentence. This is nonsense: I was going to the store, but I didn't have enough time.

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    #6

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    This is nonsense: I was going to the store, but I didn't have enough time.
    I don't agree that it's nonsense. I think it's possible.
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    #7

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I don't agree that it's nonsense. I think it's possible.
    What do you suppose it means? Do you like this one as well?

    I was traveling to the store, but I didn't have enough time.

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    #8

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I was going to the store, but I didn't have enough time.
    I means I had planned/arranged to go to the store but I didn't have enough time.

    I don't like your other suggestion, but that is probably because I don't associate travelling with going to a store.
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    #9

    Re: I'm going to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It means I had planned/arranged to go to the store but I didn't have enough time.

    I don't like your other suggestion, but that is probably because I don't associate travelling with going to a store.
    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?

    If you don't like traveling as a synonym for being in transit, let's change the example so that it uses was in transit to the store.

    I was in transit to the store, but I didn't have enough time.

    Perhaps it is "going a bit far" to describe such a sentence as nonsense. Can we at least agree that it's semantically anomalous and not as clear as this?

    I was going to go to the store, but I didn't have enough time.

    My point is that [BE] going to/gonna expresses intention, especially obviously in the past tense, and makes sense of "not having enough time."

    If one intends to do X but does not have enough time, the meaning is that one does not enough time to do X.

    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.

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    #10

    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?
    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.
    2. I told Emma she needn't go out for cigarettes; I was going to the store later, and I'd get her some.
    We don't know if I actually went.
    3. It started to rain while I was going to the store.
    We know at least that I set out.


    If you don't like traveling as a synonym for being in transit, let's change the example so that it uses was in transit to the store.

    I was in transit to the store, but I didn't have enough time.
    I like in transit even less than travelling. However, accepting it for the moment, I was in transit means that I had actually set off. The past progressive forms I was going/travelling do not necessarily mean that I had set off. They usually do, but they can also refer to a future (in the past) arrangement, as can the more explicit I was going to go/travel, which can be used only for a future (in the past) situation.

    Perhaps it is "going a bit far" to describe such a sentence as nonsense. Can we at least agree that it's semantically anomalous and not as clear as this?
    I was going to go to the store, but I didn't have enough time.


    I don't agree that it is semantically anomalous, but do agree that it is not as immediately clear as the going to form


    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.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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