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D00M
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 3:16:52 PM

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Hello respected teachers,

Is there a difference between the following two?

I'm going to have a party next Saturday. I hope you can come.

I'm having a party next Saturday. I hope you can come.

The custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language. Joseph Priestly- Rudiments of EG, 1761.
NKM
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 3:54:43 PM

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D00M wrote:
Hello respected teachers,

Is there a difference between the following two?

I'm going to have a party next Saturday. I hope you can come.

I'm having a party next Saturday. I hope you can come.



The only difference is that one is two words longer than the other.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 7:48:33 AM

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It's similar in British dialects too.
"I'm having" is shorter and therefore more commonly used, but they both sound 'OK'.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Helenej
Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 10:00:42 AM

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NKM wrote:
The only difference is that one is two words longer than the other.

If there are two different ways to say something, then there is a difference.

"I'm going to have a party next Saturday" implies you have an intention to make a party. But you may have in mind some of the following thoughts: "If a couple of my friends won't be able to come, I will probably put the party off" or "If my parents strongly object, I will cancel the party" or "If it rains next Saturday, I will cancel the party because it is meant to be a barbeque one".

"I'm having a party next Saturday" implies you are determined to do it and have no 'if' in mind. You probably have arranged everything with your parents, bought some food or decorated the house.

Romany
Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:15:53 PM
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Sorry Helenej,

NK speaks AE and Drago & I BE - but we all say the same thing: the only difference is in length.

So why are there two "right" ways to say it? Because one clings to the more formally "correct" response, while the other is the more modern (and once frowned upon)"correct" way of saying it.

History, not grammar.
Helenej
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 3:06:44 AM

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Romany wrote:
We all say the same thing: the only difference is in length.

So why are there two "right" ways to say it? Because one clings to the more formally "correct" response, while the other is the more modern (and once frowned upon)"correct" way of saying it.

History, not grammar.

How can a phenomenon in a language be felt as “less correct” because of being younger if it has existed in the language for about two and a half centuries? How can be that phenomenon be frowned at for so long, after your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on have used the construction all the time? I mean the Present Continuous for future events.

I’m sorry, but a pure assertion that the two constructions mean the same, even made by a few respected native speakers, can’t convince me in this case. For me, the difference is obvious. In “I am going to have a party”, I am only “going” to have it, I have an intention to have it. In “I am having a party”, having a party is so settled, so real and so prepared to me (well, maybe only in my mind), that I make the future my mental present by using the present form.

Romany
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 5:39:27 AM
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Helenej,

English is full of the ghosts of former ways of speaking - whole volumes of Synonyms attest to that.Some people still won't split an infinitive, or finish a sentence with a preposition - yet its perfectly fine to do so. So both hearers and users know that "I will boldly go..." and "I will go boldly..." mean the same thing and are both correct.

So use whichever form of the OP's sentences you prefer - it will make no difference to the hearer.

BUT if you say "I'm going to have a party at my place on Saturday" and then you change your mind, the people you've spoken to will still turn up saying "Where's the party?" Because, as we've said, both mean the same thing and they won't know that you use "going to" to mean "I may/might have a party."

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 10:23:21 AM

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I have to agree with Romany here - well, I don't HAVE to, but . . .

If I meant "I have an intention to have a party. But I have in mind some of the following thoughts: 'If a couple of my friends won't be able to come, I will probably put the party off' or 'If my parents strongly object, I will cancel the party' or 'If it rains next Saturday, I will cancel the party because it is meant to be a barbeque one'." - then I'd say "I mean to have a party on Saturday but it depends. If I do have one, can you come?" or "I'm thinking of having a party . . ." or "I plan on having a party . . ."

"I'm going to have a party" means that it's definite - the same as "I'm having a party."

EDITED to remove an incorrect reference to the Farlex Grammar.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
D00M
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 10:55:18 AM

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Why have used "will (won't)" in the "if-clause" of the following sentence? What's wrong with "are not"?

If a couple of my friends won't be able to come, I will probably put the party off.



The custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language. Joseph Priestly- Rudiments of EG, 1761.
Helenej
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 3:24:20 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
"I'm going to have a party" means that it's definite - the same as "I'm having a party."

So, "I'm having a party" means that it's definite, that is "certain, fixed, not likely to change" (Cambridge Dictionary). I agree. That's what I said. Unlike this, "I'm going to have a party" only informs us about someone's intention or determination to have a party.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/be-going-to
Helenej
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 3:25:49 PM

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D00M wrote:
Why have used "will (won't)" in the "if-clause" of the following sentence? What's wrong with "are not"?

If a couple of my friends won't be able to come, I will probably put the party off.

Sorry, my mistake. I do make mistakes sometimes.
Hope123
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 11:47:05 PM

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Determination - TFD: the act or an instance of making a decision.
Intend - TFD - to have in mind as something to be done or brought about; plan


HeleneJ,

You have made the decision. You intend to do it and have made a plan to do it. You are going to have a party.

DOOM, I hope we are all invited? Whistle Whistle Whistle

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:37:19 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
Determination - TFD: the act or an instance of making a decision.
Intend - TFD - to have in mind as something to be done or brought about; plan

Right, but according to the above cited Collins Dictionary, 'to be going to' means either intention or determination. So, anyone who has heard "I am going to have a party" should assume that I only have an intention to throw a party. Therefore, people who will turn up after my "I am going to have a party" and say, "Where's the party" should be less upset than if I had said, "I am having a party", which, as Drag0 pointed out, means "it's definite". Dancing

Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 6:41:58 AM

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Either/or makes no difference to your argument. You have made the decision to plan a party in both cases.

Present continuous is used to describe an event definitely planned in the future, the same as you are definitely planning in the "going to" sentence. They both mean the same to a native speaker. Edited - neither sentence guarantees the future (we can't know what will happen in the future) but they both say the decision to plan a party is definitely made.

English is different from many other languages. The article on the link lists the ways English expresses the future. Note that both of the sentences are on the list.

https://www.thoughtco.com/does-the-english-language-have-a-future-tense-1691004

.


The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 6:50:13 AM
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Helenej -

Drago said:

"I'm going to have a party" means that it's definite - the same as "I'm having a party."
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:39:07 PM

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Hope123 wrote:
Either/or makes no difference to your argument. You have made the decision to plan a party in both cases.

It does make a difference. The dictionary says that 'to be going to' can mean only an intention.
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:41:42 PM

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Romany wrote:
Helenej -

Drago said:

"I'm going to have a party" means that it's definite - the same as "I'm having a party."

I've read what Drag0 said, but I have also read what the dictionary says, namely that 'to be going to' can mean only intention.
BobShilling
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:58:56 PM
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Helenej wrote:
according to the above cited Collins Dictionary, 'to be going to' means either intention or determination.


It is simply not true that 'BE going to' can suggest only one of these two things. There is no sense of intention or determination in such natural sentences as:

1. Look at those black clouds. It's going to rain soon.
2. John drives far too fast. He's going to have an accident one day
.

While intention, determination or apparent inevitability may be suggested by BE going to what is always suggested is that the speaker has present evidence of a future situation. (Though, as Hope said, we can't know what will happen in the future.) The present evidence may be something visible, such as the black clouds in #1; the speaker's conclusions from observations, as in #2,; the speaker's knowledge of their own decisions, as in I'm going to have a party; or something else.

The present progressive almost always refers to some form of arrangement that has been made at or before the present time for a future situation. The arrangement may be something that has clearly been organised between by two or more people (#3 below), or it may be something that has simply been settled in the speakers mind (#4 below).

3. I'm meeting Luke in town tonight.
4. I'm having a party on Saturday
.




When the present evidence is an arrangement, then there is, practically speaking, no significant difference in meaning between the present progressive and BE + going to. This is particularly true when the subject is 'I'.
BobShilling
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:41:40 PM
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Helenej wrote:
I have also read what the dictionary says, namely that 'to be going to' can mean only intention.


I don't go to dictionaries for information about grammar. I go to books written by grammarians, for example:

Aitken, Rosemary (1992.70), Teaching Tenses: "It [BE going to]is used to indicate a general plan or intention. [...] It is used to predict future events, based on present concrete evidence. [...] It is used to express intention."

Chalker, Sylvia (1984.113), Current English Grammar: "[...] since going to is present tense in form it implies that there is already evidence for the future event."

Leech, Geoffrey (2004.58,) Meaning and the English Verb (3rd edition): "If there is one meaning that can be attached to this construction [BE going to], it is FUTURE AS OUTCOME OF PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES."

Lewis, Michael (1986.82), Meaning and the English Verb: "[...] it will be characteristic of those forms containing (be) going to, that there is evidence, leading up to and at the moment of speaking, for the future event."

Quirk et al (1985.214), A comprehensive Grammar of the English Language: "Its (BE going to's) general meaning is future fulfilment of the present' [...] The consruction has two more specific meanings, [...] FUTURE FULFILMENT OF PRESENT INTENTION [...] FUTURE FULFILMENT OF PRESENT CAUSE.


Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:27:45 PM

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BobShilling wrote:
It is simply not true that 'BE going to' can suggest only one of these two things. There is no sense of intention or determination in such natural sentences as:

1. Look at those black clouds. It's going to rain soon.
2. John drives far too fast. He's going to have an accident one day
.

Of course, there isn't. There are two parts in the Collins Dictionary's entry that I gave the link to. The first is about something going to happen. We have been discussing the second one, about when someone is talking about their plans or about other people's plans.

BobShilling wrote:
While intention, determination or apparent inevitability may be suggested by BE going to what is always suggested is that the speaker has present evidence of a future situation. The present evidence may be ... the speaker's knowledge of their own decisions, as in I'm going to have a party.

My knowledge of my own decision is evidence for me of what will happen in the future? Evidence is a reason for believing. Knowledge of a fact can't be evidence of the fact itself. You know something and you don't need any evidence. If I know that I live at 10, Green Street, I don't need any evidence of this fact.
Anyway, I hope it is not you who made up this contrived statement.

Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:34:29 PM

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Helene,

What you are probably noticing is that in English we may use two different constructions that mean the same thing but are nuanced to emphasize different things. Do you not do that too in your native language in some constructions?

In "I'm having a party" you are emphasizing the future plan which you intend to honour. A party! What do you think? I'm going to invite you or I would not be telling you. etc.

In "I'm going to have a party" you are emphasizing your intentions re the future plan which you intend to honour. Hey, look at me, I'm the one planning a party.

So in that sense there is a slight nuanced difference in meaning but in both cases you have already made the decision to have the party before the statement is made. Otherwise why announce it at all? If you weren't sure you would say, "I'm thinking of having a party" or some such idea.



The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:13:08 AM
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Helenej wrote:
BobShilling wrote:
It is simply not true that 'BE going to' can suggest only one of these two things. There is no sense of intention or determination in such natural sentences as:

1. Look at those black clouds. It's going to rain soon.
2. John drives far too fast. He's going to have an accident one day
.

Of course, there isn't. There are two parts in the Collins Dictionary's entry that I gave the link to. The first is about something going to happen. We have been discussing the second one, about when someone is talking about their plans or about other people's plans.

Helenej, you have said:

"I'm going to have a party next Saturday" implies you have an intention to make a party.[...]
"I'm having a party next Saturday" implies you are determined to do it

"I'm having a party" means that it's definite, that is "certain, fixed, not likely to change" (Cambridge Dictionary). I agree. That's what I said. Unlike this, "I'm going to have a party" only informs us about someone's intention or determination to have a party.

according to the above cited Collins Dictionary, 'to be going to' means either intention or determination.

The dictionary says that 'to be going to' can mean only an intention.

We have been discussing the second one [= part], about when someone is talking about their plans or about other people's plans.


There is a certain lack of consistency there.

In any case, it is not possible to tell with absolute certainty whether a person using the present progressive or BE going to about a future situation is talking about plans or intentions or merely referring to the futurity of that situation.


Quote:
My knowledge of my own decision is evidence for me of what will happen in the future? Evidence is a reason for believing. Knowledge of a fact can't be evidence of the fact itself. You know something and you don't need any evidence. If I know that I live at 10, Green Street, I don't need any evidence of this fact.


If you know that you live at 10 Green Street, that knowledge is based on your experience of where you eat and sleep. You cannot know something without having some form of evidence for it in your mind.

As far as the future is concerned,there is, in a sense, no such thing as a future fact. We can express a plan, determination, intention for, or certainty about a future situation, but it does not become a fact until it happens. Thus my possession of a flight ticket and boarding card is no more (or less) evidence of the factuality of my future flight than the intention in my mind.

If I decide on the spur of the moment that I will take steps to hold a party on Saturday, I will probably say "I'll have a party on Saturday". However, I could say "I'm going to have a party on Saturday" or "I'm having a party on Saturday". At the moment of utterance, there is no significant difference in meaning between those three.

Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:42:43 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
In English we may use two different constructions that mean the same thing but are nuanced to emphasize different things. Do you not do that too in your native language in some constructions?

Yes, I’d say that in Russian, we have, among others, the same two ways of talking about future plans as the two in question. People use them automatically, often without realizing the difference. When I ask them why they said in Russian “I’m having a party on Sunday” or “I’m going shopping tommorrow”, using the present tense while speaking about the future, they always feel confused. And after I explain why, they instantly completely agree. And they also agree that there is a difference between the corresponding Russian forms “I am going to have” and ”I’m having”.

Hope123 wrote:
In "I'm having a party" you are emphasizing the future plan which you intend to honour. A party! What do you think? I'm going to invite you or I would not be telling you. etc.

In "I'm going to have a party" you are emphasizing your intentions re the future plan which you intend to honour. Hey, look at me, I'm the one planning a party.

So, there is a difference. Good. That’s what I have been trying to say. I would only add what BobShilling said:

"The present progressive almost always refers to some form of arrangement that has been made at or before the present time for a future situation. The arrangement may be something that has clearly been organised between by two or more people, or it may be something that has simply been settled in the speakers mind."

Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:44:07 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
If you know that you live at 10 Green Street, that knowledge is based on your experience of where you eat and sleep. You cannot know something without having some form of evidence for it in your mind.

I’ve never thought about that from this perspective, but you are obviously right. Anyway, I have to apologize for this example as it has nothing to do with the future events that we are discussing.
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:48:23 AM
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Helenej wrote:

So, there is a difference. Good. That’s what I have been trying to say. I would only add what BobShilling said:

"The present progressive almost always refers to some form of arrangement that has been made at or before the present time for a future situation. The arrangement may be something that has clearly been organised between by two or more people, or it may be something that has simply been settled in the speakers mind."


You are being too selective. I went on to say, emphasis added now, "When the present evidence is an arrangement, then there is, practically speaking, no significant difference in meaning between the present progressive and BE + going to. This is particularly true when the subject is 'I'."
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 4:12:22 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
When the present evidence is an arrangement, then there is, practically speaking, no significant difference in meaning between the present progressive and BE + going to. This is particularly true when the subject is 'I'.

You seem to tend to consider everything to be evidence. According to you, my own arranging a party (decorating the house, ordering food, inviting guests) is evidence to me myself of my own intention to have a party. That’s obviously a stretch. I know that I want to have a party and that I have done something to make it real. I don’t need to see the house decorated to believe in my desire to have a party.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 4:26:41 AM
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Helenej,

While the distinction may exist - even if only technically - in Russian, that distinction doesn't translate into English however hard you argue for it. Perhaps, unconsciously, you have approached English dictionary/text-books with that distinction in your mind; and so interpret the English explanations with that as your accepted starting point.

If you say to your children "I'm going to buy you all ice-creams" and then walk straight past the ice-cream shop because you've changed your mind, all the kids will learn is that Mummy tells lies!

If you tell your boss "I'm going to have that report on your desk by the end of the week" but it takes you two weeks to do it, your boss is going to be extremely angry.

If you tell your friend "I'm going to take you to dinner on Thursday as a birthday treat" and then leave them sitting at the table all alone because something else came up, you're going to lose your friend.

So, no matter how you interpret it to yourself, or how you think dictionaries interpret it, no English speaker is going to share your interpretation, or understand why you let them down after you'd said you were going to do something.

Language usage isn't about personal, technical interpretations; it's about communicating commonly understood ideas. And no English-speaker is going to forgive you if you say "I'm going to" do something and then don't do it. They'll just think you're unreliable. Or that you tell porkies!(lies).
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 5:05:40 AM
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Helenej wrote:
According to you, my own arranging a party (decorating the house, ordering food, inviting guests) is evidence to me myself of my own intention to have a party.

In a way.

Evidence is anything that you see, experience, read, or are told that causes you to believe that something is true or has really happened.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/evidence
[/quote]

Quote:
That’s obviously a stretch.

You think so. I don't. Nor do some of the grammarians I quoted.

Quote:
I know that I want to have a party and that I have done something to make it real. I don’t need to see the house decorated to believe in my desire to have a party.

Your knowledge of your having some something real is the present evidence in your mind of the future occurrence of the party. If you merely want to have a party and have done absolutely nothing about it, then there is no evidence of a future party.
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 5:45:08 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
Helenej wrote:
According to you, my own arranging a party (decorating the house, ordering food, inviting guests) is evidence to me myself of my own intention to have a party.

In a way.

Evidence is anything that you see, experience, read, or are told that causes you to believe that something is true or has really happened.

So it is essential for me to see the balloons around my house in order to believe that I have intention to have a party? Consequently, when I close my eyes, I don't believe in that as I can't see the balloons. Doesn't it suffice for me just to remember that I have decorated the house with the balloons to believe in my intention to have a party?

BobShilling wrote:
Your knowledge of your having done something real is the present evidence in your mind of the future occurrence of the party. If you merely want to have a party and have done absolutely nothing about it, then there is no evidence of a future party.

You seem to contradict yourself here. Yesterday you said, "The arrangement may be something that has clearly been organised between by two or more people, or it may be something that has simply been settled in the speaker's mind." I don't need to do something real to have evidence of the future occurence of the party. Just my thought, "I'll have a party" will suffice to think that there is evidence.

BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 5:57:50 AM
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Helenej wrote:

BobShilling wrote:
Your knowledge of your having done something real is the present evidence in your mind of the future occurrence of the party. If you merely want to have a party and have done absolutely nothing about it, then there is no evidence of a future party.

You seem to contradict yourself here. Yesterday you said, "The arrangement may be something that has clearly been organised between by two or more people, or it may be something that has simply been settled in the speaker's mind." I don't need to do something real to have evidence of the future occurrence of the party. Just my thought, "I'll have a party" will suffice to think that there is evidence.

There is no contradiction there. The decision to have a party, expressed, for example in the words "I'll have a party" could be taken as some sort of evidence for the future occurrence of the party.
The desire to have a party is not evidence of the future party
.
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 6:09:02 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
The decision to have a party, expressed, for example in the words "I'll have a party" could be taken as some sort of evidence for the future occurrence of the party.

What if the decision wasn't expressed in words at all? What if it just clicked in my mind, "A party on Sunday!"? Should it be considered evidence, too?
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 6:14:45 AM
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We are getting so far away from the original question that I'm going to take/I'm taking/I'll take a break now.
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 6:18:56 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
We are getting so far away from the original question that I'm going to take/I'm taking/I'll take a break now.

Is that giving up? Does this mean you've got lost in your theory that what I know is evidence to me of what I know?Anxious
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 6:25:58 AM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
No it just means that there's no point in a number of native speakers explaining how they use the term "going to" in real life, despite what your dictionaries say if you are unwilling to listen to them.

I agree with the collective thought here if a person says they are going to have a party on Saturday it means unless something seriously goes wrong, there is a party taking place.

That's how native English speakers use the words.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 6:28:07 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Helenej wrote:

Is that giving up?


Yup.

Five native speakers from the UK (England and Scotland), the USA and Canada have tried to assist you. I gave you the thoughts of the writers of five respected grammars.

Enough is enough. I for one, am not going to bang my head against a brick wall any more.
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