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I heard that "was going to" and "was planning to" have a similar meaning.

"Was/were going to" is often used to talk about an intention or plan that didn’t happen.

Is "was planning to" used with that kind of meaning, like Example 2?

Or it does not necessarily mean that, like Example 3 or Example 4?

Example 1

I was going to buy my mother a gift, and I did not have enough money.

Example 2

I was planning to go to the party, but my car broke, so I could not go there.

Example 3

I was planning to go to the party, and then I had a good time there.

Example 4

A: What were you doing last night?

B: I was planning to go to the party, and I was looking for a gift, and I had a good time there.

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I was planning to usually implies that you didn't manage to do whatever it was. In Example 3, why mention planning at all? You could simply say I went to the party and had a good time. Similarly with Example 4 - I was going to the party, so I was looking for a gift.

Of course, if you are intending to do something that requires a lot of advance planning, you might say I'm planning my skiing holiday or I'm making plans for my skiing holiday.

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