I am reading the book "Diary of a Wimpy kid". The author often uses the word "be gonna". And it looks like this word does not carry a semantic load in many cases. Without it, sentences have the same meaning. Google translate also skip this word in translations. Why did the author add this word?

This book is about modern USA kids, so probably it contains a lot of specific kids slang.

Other examples from this book:

  • So I realized the only way I was gonna get a chance to listen to Rodrick’s CD was if I snuck it out of the house.
  • After a while, we realized the teenagers were going to wait us out, so we decided we were just gonna have to spend the night at Gramma’s.
  • So that meant we were gonna have to make a run for it.
  • I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was gonna take a long time to clean up.
  • I realized I was gonna have to gain weight for real.

1 Answer 1


All these instances of gonna have future meaning, viewed from the point in the past where the appearance or realisation happened.

Gonna is a colloquial form of going to, and has the same meaning.

I have a nervous breakdown is something that it unlikely to be said without a special context, because present simple is normally used only for timeless states. I'm having a nervous breakdown = now; I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown = in the future.


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