Intentions

General intentions

When you want to express an intention, especially one relating to an immediate action, you can say `I'm going to...'.
I'm going to call my father.
I'm going to have a bath.
You can also say `I think I'll...'.
I think I'll finish this later.
I think I'll go to sleep now.
You can use the present progressive when you regard your intention as a fixed plan or have already made the necessary arrangements.
I'm taking it back to the library soon.
I'm going away.
The future progressive is also sometimes used.
I'll be waiting outside.
You can also express an intention by saying `I've decided to...'.
I've decided to clear this place out.
I've decided to go away this weekend.
To express a negative intention, you say `I'm not going to...' or `I've decided not to...'.
I'm not going to make it easy for them.
I've decided not to take it.

Vague intentions

If your intention is not a firm one, you can say `I'm thinking of...'.
I'm thinking of going to the theatre next week.
I'm thinking of giving it up altogether.
I'm thinking of writing a play.
You can also say `I might...' or `I may...'.
I might stay a day or two.
I may come back to Britain, I'm not sure.
If you feel that your intention might surprise the person you are talking to, or are not sure that they will approve of it, you say `I thought I might...'.
I thought I might buy a house next year.
I thought I might invite him over to dinner one evening.
To express a vague negative intention, you can say `I might not...'.
I might not go.

Firm intentions

You use `I'll' to express a firm intention, especially when making arrangements or reassuring someone.
I'll do it this afternoon and call you back.
I'll explain its function in a minute.
To express a firm negative intention, you can say `I won't...'.
I won't go.
I won't let my family suffer.

Expressing intentions formally

A more formal way of expressing an intention is to say `I intend to...'.
I intend to carry on with it.
I intend to go into this in rather more detail this term.
I intend is also occasionally followed by an -ing form.
I intend retiring to Florence.
The emphatic expression `I have every intention of...', followed by an -ing form, is also sometimes used. You use this expression if you think the person you are addressing does not believe you will do something, or does not want you to do it.
I have every intention of buying it.
Even more formal expressions are `My intention is to...' and `It is my intention to...'.
My intention is to summarize previous research in this area.
It is still my intention to resign if they choose to print the story.
To express a negative intention formally, you can say `I don't intend to...'.
I don't intend to investigate that at this time.
I don't intend to stay too long.
You can also say `I have no intention of...', followed by an -ing form. This is more emphatic.
I have no intention of retiring.
I've no intention of marrying again.

Involuntary actions

`Be going to', `might', `may', and `will' are also used to make statements about involuntary future actions.
If you keep interrupting I'm going to make a mistake.
I might not be able to find it.
I may have to stay there for a while.
If I don't have lunch, I'll faint.
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