What is the difference between "was going to" and "would?" Is there a parallel difference between "is going to" and "will?"

asked 2019-04-27 12:27:59 -0400

philip gravatar image

"The pasta was going to boil over" does not seem to entail that it did. It just says the event was imminent. LIkewise, "She was going to step on snake" does not seem to entail that she did. (Maybe someone warned her in time.) But "The pasta would (eventually) boil over" and "She would (eventually) step on a snake" do seem to entail that the pasta did boil over, and that she did step on a snake, respectively. Is there a present-tense expression corresponding to "was going to?" In particular, when I say, "I am going to learn Spanish," does what I say entail that I will? If so, that suggests that "was going to" is not the past tense of "is going to." What is going on here?

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