Going to is not a tense. It is a special structure that we use to talk about the future.
The structure of going to is:
The verb be is conjugated. Look at these examples:
|I||am||going||to buy||a new car.|
|He||is||not||going||to take||the exam.|
|Are||you||going||to paint||the house?|
How do we use going to?
going to for intention
We use going to when we have the intention to do something before we speak. We have already made a decision before speaking. Look at these examples:
- Jo has won the lottery. He says he's going to buy a Porsche.
- We're not going to paint our bedroom tomorrow.
- When are you going to go on holiday?
In these examples, we had an intention or plan before speaking. The decision was made before speaking.
going to for prediction
We often use going to to make a prediction about the future. Our prediction is based on present evidence. We are saying what we think will happen. Here are some examples:
- The sky is very black. It's going to snow.
- It's 8.30! You're going to miss your train!
- I crashed the company car. My boss isn't going to be very happy!
In these examples, the present situation (black sky, the time, damaged car) gives us a good idea of what is going to happen.
- I was going to tell him but I forgot.
- I had been going to fix the car for ages.