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From NPR:

She's been doing a project called Wordless News every day for about a year now and next week she's going to be doing drawings based on stories she hears right here on MORNING EDITION.

Is there any difference if I substitute "going to do" for "going to be doing"? Thanks.

4 Answers 4

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Not any semantic difference in this particular sentence. For the semantic difference in general see "future progressive" versus "simple future."

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Going to do drawings means that she will do drawings on at least one occasion.

Going to be doing drawings means that she will do drawings repeatedly.

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  • What if the sentences are: Tomorrow, (I'm going to be leaving -vs- I'm going to leave) - or is the first sentence awkward in current form but it would be natural if said as in "I'm going to be leaving by/at 8.00 am tomorrow"?
    – learner
    Jan 12, 2014 at 10:59
  • 2
    @learner In that particular case there would be no real difference, because there's no indication that leaving is a repeatable action as there is with do (plural) drawings. Jan 12, 2014 at 11:19
  • hello StoneyB on hiatus, I heard the same structure on a podcast. The host said 'And we’re going to be discussing whether the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – the USA and China - can work together for the good of the environment. ' and I don't think they will discuss it repeatedly, on another and another day and so on as there wasn't any other episode about this topic on their podcast. bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/oromo/features/6-minute-english/…
    – user138449
    Aug 9, 2022 at 11:50
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I'm going to do ** something = i have already decided to do it, foreg:Are you going to eat anything ? No, I'm not hungry.'

I;m am doing [present continuous ] when we say what we have arranged to do- for example , arranged to meet somebody, arranged to go somewhere. what time are you meeting an this evening ?

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The difference here is one of emphasis. The continuous tense emphasizes the process of the activity... treating it as something that happens over time and emphasizing that time. The more simple tense (in this case future) merely treats the event as a point in time... or if repeated multiple points in time.

Thus one might say, "I am going to eat dinner at 6 o'clock." In that use the process is de-emphasized, and the time is probably the beginning time. If one were to say "I am going to be eating dinner at 6 o'clock." then one is emphasizing the process, and the time is probably somewhere in the middle, altho it might be the beginning. (To emphasize the middle one would say '... going to still be eating...".

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