Present Continuous to talk about the future
We already know that the verb ‘go’ is used when it was already decided to do something. Present Continuous is used to talk about not only what you have decided to do, but what you have already begun to plan, organize or perform. Look at the following question …
What are you doing tonight …?
1. I’m going to see my father. (I’ve already decided that this is what I’m going to do)
2. I’m seeing my father. (I have already decided and we have also left at six)
What are you doing this summer …?
I’m going to study Japanese (I’ve already decided that this is what I’m going to do)
I’m studying Japanese (I have already decided and I have also paid the registration)
Present simple to talk about the future
The ‘Present simple’ is used for train schedules, cinema, bus, programs, etc.
- The train comes at six.
- The film starts at seven.
- The last speech is at two thirty.
Advanced English grammar exercise: Read the different sets of circumstances below and choose between – will , going to, or present continuous. Explain your answer.
Example: You see a colleague having difficulties carrying some bags. “I’ll help you.” Explanation – you always use ‘will’ with a spontaneous offer.
- Somebody asks you what you´re doing this weekend. You´re probably going to paint your house.
- Somebody asks you what you´re doing this weekend. You´re definitely going to paint your house and your Dad is going to help you.
- You suddenly decide to call Laura later.
- You bump into Laura in the office and you tell her you´ll call her later; you´ve already decided to do this.
- You look at the black sky.
- You see a car in a bad condition and do not want to buy it.
- John asks you what you´re going to do in Spain. Your want to learn Spanish but you haven´t found a course.
- Fred asks you what you´re going to do in Spain. You´ve enrolled on a Spanish course.
- You suddenly realise that you need to unscrew a panel to make a computer work.
- Fred wants to know what time the film starts.
- During a day-long conference Fred wants to know when the Chairman´s speech finishes.
- Caroline asks you what you´re doing tonight. You´re going to a Destiny´s Child reunion concert.
- Caroline asks you what you´re doing tomorrow night. You´ve arranged to meet your brother to get drunk.
- You suddenly decide to eat a kebab.
- Your friend needs some information; you decide to tell her.
- A tourist asks at the ticket office what time the play begins.
- Your daughter shouts for you to come to her room. You tell her you’re on your way.
- Fred needs a pen. You offer to get him one.
- You tell Fred that you intend to kill him tonight and you´ve already bought a gun.
- You want to ask a friend what they´re doing tomorrow night.
- You want to know what Fred plans to do about the hole in his roof.
- You can see your spouse looking for the remote control. You decide to get it for her.
- You need to know what time John is leaving home tomorrow.
- You want to know who´ll be the boss this time next year.
A neighbour is bothering your friend. You offer to beat the neighbour up.