Futuro imediato

Formação

Quando nos referimos ao futuro imediato, podemos utilizar uma construção composta por três elementos:
o verbo "to be" conjugado no presente + "about" + o infinitivo do verbo principal.

Sujeito + to be + about (ou "just about") + infinitivo
I am about to be sick.
They are about to arrive.
It is just about to explode.
To leave no futuro imediato
Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa Interrogativa Negativa
I am about to leave. I am not about to leave. Am I about to leave? Am I not about to leave?
You are about to leave. You are not about to leave. Are you about to leave? Aren't you about to leave?
He is about to leave. He is not about to leave. Is he about to leave? Isn't he about to leave?
We are about to leave. We aren't about to leave. Are we about to leave? Aren't we about to leave?
They are about to leave. They aren't about to leave. Are they about to leave? Aren't they about to leave?

Funções

Essa construção é utilizada para se referir a um período de tempo imediatamente posterior à fala e enfatiza o fato de que o evento ou ação ocorrerá muito em breve. Frequentemente incluímos o termo just antes da palavra about, o que reforça a característica imediata da ação.

Exemplos
  • She is about to cry.
  • You are about to see something very unusual.
  • I am about to go to a meeting.
  • We are just about to go inside.
  • Sally is just about to jump off that diving board.

Esse padrão também pode ser utilizado com o "simple past" do verbo "to be" no lugar do presente, para se referir a uma ação ou evento iminentes, mas que foram interrompidos. Nesse caso, geralmente acrescenta-se em seguida uma oração introduzida pelo termo "when".

Exemplos
  • She was about to leave when Jim arrived.
  • When it started to rain, I was about to go out for a walk.
  • I was just about to call her when she walked in.
  • The car was just about to flip over when he regained control.