Voy a comprar - I am buying or I am going to buy?

JohnB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Voy a comprar - I am buying or I am going to buy?

Hola,

This lesson is clear in distinguishing the Futuro Próximo, but is there a reason why none of the translations offered use the variation "I am going to buy a house.... / They are going to have a meal tonight.... etc.?

These would be common ways of expressing future arrangements in English, and happily distinguish it very clearly from the present progressive "I am buying a house" which doesn't quite capture the idea of a future arrangement. 

Is there some distinction that I'm not aware of?

Saludos. John

Asked 11 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola John

We've chosen the translations that use the present progressive in English for our sentences expressing a future arrangement with the near future precisely to make the distinction between the Spanish and the English use of "I am doing" and "I am going to do". In English, you can use the present progressive to express a future arrangement, for example:

 "I am buying some socks"

can mean you are buying them right now or you have planned to buy some socks and will do so in the future. But if we use that same sentence using the present progressive in Spanish:

"Estoy comprando unos calcetines." 

this can only mean that you are buying socks now, not in the future.

In reference to why we are not using both translations in English "I am doing [something]" and "I am going to do [something], it is simply because we chose one, but I don't think it'd be a different meaning in English if we had chosen the second one with the near future tense, not the present progressive tense.

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

JohnB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks Inma 

The distinction is quite significant isn't it. I am clearer now regarding the translation as well.

PaulB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I agree with John, Ian and Inma here.  Depending where you are in the UK, how old you are and how much you studied, the English use can vary.  I'm of the age where "i am buying a house" means i'm doing it right now, i'm in progress of buying a house.  "i am going to buy a house" shows intent, but not actually in progress. BUT, many of the younger people I know would use the former, and I end up asking where the house is, and they say "I haven't found one yet" and my eyes get tired from rolling them...

RC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I feel like using the present progressive this way in English is maybe more common in the UK. With the exception of the example "I'm going out with her this weekend" none of the other English present progressive examples would be a construction that I would be inclined to reach for. I feel like I would have gotten in far fewer fights growing up if when my mother said "wake up" and I replied "I am waking up", she had understood that I didn't actually mean right then,but rather at some unspecified future time. 

Voy a comprar - I am buying or I am going to buy?

Hola,

This lesson is clear in distinguishing the Futuro Próximo, but is there a reason why none of the translations offered use the variation "I am going to buy a house.... / They are going to have a meal tonight.... etc.?

These would be common ways of expressing future arrangements in English, and happily distinguish it very clearly from the present progressive "I am buying a house" which doesn't quite capture the idea of a future arrangement. 

Is there some distinction that I'm not aware of?

Saludos. John

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Let me take a look at that...