"I am going to do the work"

I know this sentence works like future though it has "am" and (verb+ing) which is the characteristic of present progressive. Can I say it is a future simple tense?


1 Answer 1


Technically, no, this is not the future simple tense: the simple future is made with will, like "I will do the work."

But you're correct that "to be going to" is a construction that we use to talk about future plans.

The difference is that you can use "to be going to" in the past, but you can't use "will" in the past.

He was going to do the work. (good)
He was will do the work. (wrong)

An interesting note:
Technically, English does not have a future tense at all! We have a present tense (I work) and a past tense (I worked) that are made with verb inflection (conjugation) but we don't have a future tense that you can make the same way. Instead, we have a periphrastic construction that we use like a future tense (I will work) that uses will as a modal, exactly like can, should, might, may, etc. and we also have a number of other constructions that we can use to talk about various aspects of the future.

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