As far as I know this sentence is well constructed:

I'm going to be in England next week.

I know it is wrong to think that certain English expressions must adjust to Spanish logic since they are two very different languages; having said that, I would like to understand why the verb to be is used twice? I can understand the presence of the personal pronoun I and that of the verb to be the second time it appears, but why do we have to conjugate it the first time (I am going...)?


1 Answer 1


I'm in England next week is perfectly grammatical. It relies upon "next week" to express the idea of the future while using present tense. I believe that is what you had in mind when referring to what can be said in Spanish.

But we can express the future in another way too.

We can say

I am to be in England next week.

I will|shall be in England next week.

I am going to be in England next week.

Let's work backwards. The sentence with "am going to be" has a finite BE and a non-finite BE.

to be in England refers to a non-finite (i.e. outside of chronological time) existential/locative state, namely (being)-there-in-England.

Now, put going in front of the above, and you project that non-finite existential/locative state into the future, since going + infinitive places the action or state of the verb in the future:

going to be in England, namely, in-future-(being)-there-in-England.

Now, put I am in front of that, and you complement the bald existential statement "I am" with the existential/locative "in-future-(being)-there-in-England".

In other words, your current intention is to be in England next week.

  • What about I hadn't been in Scotland before or Have you ever been in California? Are these fine too? Aug 16, 2017 at 18:07
  • 1
    @MvLog I hadn't been in Scotland before would be used when talking about the past, when you visited Scotland for the first time. Your other point would be better as Have you ever been to California? Aug 16, 2017 at 18:31
  • I'm sorry but Longman Dictionary of Common Errors cites these as incorrect, there should be to instead of in in both cases. Aug 16, 2017 at 18:49
  • 1
    to refers to the place as a destination. in refers to the place as a bounded area. There are contexts for each. in is not "incorrect" when it is used in the proper context. I've never been in Spain. But I've been to Spain. I drove to the border but couldn't get into the country because I'd misplaced my passport.
    – TimR
    Aug 16, 2017 at 20:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .