El futuro inmediato

Formación

Al referirnos a un futuro inmediato, podemos emplear una construcción compuesta de tres elementos:
el verbo "to be" conjugado en presente + about + infinitivo del verbo principal

Sujeto + to be + about (o "just about") + infinitivo
I am about to be sick
They are about to arrive.
It is just about to explode.
To leave, en futuro inmediato
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?

Funciones

Esta construcción se emplea para referirse a un tiempo inmediatamente posterior al momento de hablar y enfatiza que el evento o acción sucederán muy pronto. A menudo, se añade el término "just" antes de "about" para enfatizar aún más la inmediatez de la acción.

Ejemplos
  • 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.

Esta construcción puede también utilizarse con el "simple past" del verbo "to be" en lugar del presente, para referirse a una acción o evento que eran inminentes pero fueron interrumpidos. En este caso, suele ir seguida de una frase que empieza por "when".

Ejemplos
  • 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.