Слушать подкаст (3:41):
You know how to talk about the future in English. You use words like "will" or "shall" or "going to".
In English, we also have a way of talking about things which are in the future but very close to the present – perhaps only a few minutes into the future. We use the expression "about to", like this:
Kevin and Joanne are going to Spain for a holiday. They have packed their suitcases and bought some euros. Now they are waiting by the door for the taxi to come and take them to the airport. They are about to leave for their holiday.
It is 10.30 in the evening. Joanne has had a shower and washed her hair and put her nightdress on. Then the telephone rings. It is her mother. "Mum", says Joanne, "I can't talk for long. I am about to go to bed".
It is the middle of the afternoon, and my children are about to come home from school. And when they get home, they will be hungry, so I am about to make them something to eat.
We can use "about to" and "when" like this:
Kevin and Joanne were about to leave for their holiday when Kevin found that he did not have his passport.
Joanne was about to go to bed when the telephone rang.
We were about to eat our picnic when it started to rain.
So – we use "about to" for the very near future. If we want to talk about something in the very recent past, we can use the word "just". Unfortunately, "just" has several different meanings in English, but one of the most common meanings is to show that something has happened very recently, like this:
Kevin and Joanne are now returning from their holiday (It's OK – Kevin found his passport). They arrive at the airport and find a taxi to take them home. They open their front door and walk in. They have just arrived home.
Kevin and George are watching a football match on television. Kevin goes into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. While he is there, he hears a great roar from the sitting-room. He rushes back in. "What's happened?" he asks. George replies, "United have just scored."
And, because I am recording this podcast in the garden, I can tell you that I have just planted some beans and some potatoes.
We can use "just" and "when" like this:
Kevin and Joanne had just got home when the telephone rang. (Guess who it was that's right, Joanne's Mum!)
Kevin had just made the tea when United scored.
I had just planted the potatoes when it started to rain.
Источник подкаста: listen-to-english.