Talking about the future: be + going to

There is no future tense in English, but there are many different ways of talking about the future. You'll hear one of the most common in a one-minute video about boiling spinach.

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Talking about the future: be + going to

There is no future tense in English. In fact, as we have seen before, there are technically only two tenses: the simple present and simple past. The other so-called progressive/continuous  and perfect tenses actually fall under the category known as "aspect".

There are many ways of talking about the future in English. In my book, Understanding English verb forms, I give many examples, e.g. "School starts on May 2," "I'm taking next week off," "It's going to rain," and "I'll shut the windows before we go"

One of the most common ways of talking about the future in spoken English is "be + going" to. You will find many examples in this short (1 minute) video clip. The language is quite easy, but the woman speaks very quickly and, like most Americans, she doesn't say "going to". Instead, she says "gonna".

"To boil spinach, first start off with a pot of boiling water. I'm going to go ahead and add some salt to the water so it gives the spinach a little bit of flavour. Next, I'm going to place the spinach into the pot and let it boil for about a minute or so. The spinach is going to boil very quickly.As soon as its cooked and its got a nice green colour, I'm going to go ahead and pull it out. Remember your spinach is going to shrink to about a quarter of the size that you put into it, you're going to put a lot in (??). Now we're going to drain the spinach. We can also do this using a colander. And that is how you boil spinach."

spinach – a vegetable with dark green leaves that can be cooked or eaten raw in salads  ผักขม
boil – to heat a liquid to the point where it forms bubbles and turns to steam or vapour ทำให้เดือด
flavour – how food or drink tastes รสชาติ
shrink – to become smaller, or to make something smaller หดตัว, เล็กลง
quarter – ¼; one of four equal parts of something หนึ่งในสี่ส่วน
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
colander – a bowl with small holes in that you put food into to remove any liquid กระชอน

To further understand verb forms related to the future, read the chapter in Understanding English verb forms: Talking about the future

You can find a full description of Understanding English verb forms here:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/books/196206/understanding-english-verb-forms

You can buy the book online here:

http://www.se-ed.com/eshop/Products/Detail.aspx?No=9786167061030&CategoryId=482

http://www.chulabook.com/description.asp?barcode=9786167061030

Related search: Talking about the future, Understanding English verb forms

About the author

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager