He is going to take after his father.

"He is going" is a present progressive. As a non-native speaker, I came to put a question to look into the flow/image of meaning in a native speaker's brain.

When you read only "He is going", I think you visualize "The third person he is now going somewhere".

and you come across "to take after his father". So originally 'is going to' is not similar to 'will'.

Can I say: "A is going to Verb(infinitive)" means A is on the move to (do=Verb(infinitive))

Real quesiton is: When we say 'A is going + to infinitive', do we have to regard 'is going to' as one word or each word has its respective meaning and the flow of meaning is A is moving/going /(present progressive) to infinitive (as an adverb usage, modifying 'is going'.

PS. He is going to the church now. (I think this means His body is actually moving to the church now).

It's like a syntax of "be going to": Whether we can break down be/going/to or not (just one phrase be going to)

1 Answer 1


(Native speaker chiming in)

I parse "going to {place noun}" and "going to {verb}" completely differently. I do not visualize "going to {verb}" as a modification of going to a place, but rather as a type of future tense marker. In that sense, I do originally and automatically parse "going to" as "will", without any in-between steps.

Your P.S. is accurate. "~going to the church" is in the form "going to {place noun}" which is parsed differently form "going to {verb}".


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