English Grammar

Present or future tense?

Lesson example:
Bruno: I am thinking about getting a drink after work. Would you like to come?
Susie: I don't know. I am taking my mother to the doctor's office tonight.
... the present progressive can also be used to describe a fixed arrangement or planned action in the future.

Question: The lesson choices did not include the future. Wouldn't it be much better to say: "I will be taking my mother to ..."?


  • I am taking my mother to the doctor's office tonight.
    That sentence expresses an event to come that has been planned. The use of the present continuous points out that you have decided, or that you have a firm intention to do something.

    It's as you said: I'm going to take my mother to the doctor's office tonight.

    I think it's better to say so than to use the future continuous. Why? The future continuous in such a sentence would probably be correct too. In some other cases, the future continuous would prevail; for example, to talk about something that is predicted to start before a particular point of the future.
    I will be taking my mother to the doctor's office before going back home. Here we couldn't say "I am taking".

    Just the feeling of a screwball. It needs to be cross-checked.
  • Joe already pointed into the right direction. The Present Continuous is used for plan for the near future we have already decided. An already cut-and-dried, adamant plan for the near future, fixed and hewn in stone like the Ten Commandments, is expressed with Present Continuous.

    Husband to his wife (who is a scold): 'I'm playing tennis this weekend. And nothing will keep me from it. Not even you!'

    That is quite a precise instruction we can always keep in mind and apply: When talking about a fixed plan for the near future, use the Present Continuous.

    Instead, when you intend to do something in the future, and you want to emphasize that you have merely the INTENTION to do it, without making any prediction whether it really will take place. take the 'going to' version:

    Husband to his colleague: 'I'm going to play tennis this weekend. I hope my wife will let me.'.

    The matter with the Future Continuous is contentious. The Future Continuous is usually used to talk about about something that takes place at a specific moment in the feature and started before that moment:

    Husband to his colleague:
    'When I go to play tennis on Saturday, my wife will be having coffee klatsch with her friends. Thank God. I can slink away.'

  • To beginners the kind of myself:
    Whacky's vocabulary is so much sky-high that we are likely to miss some ideas.
    a klatsch (mind the SCH) is a word coming from German Klatsch, meaning noise, gossip. So a klatsch is a casual social gathering, usually for chatting.
  • Wow, a beginner who knows the meaning of 'klatsch'? Couldn't be too difficult then. You see, throwing in
    a new word can motivatate some guys to learn and to think. You see - it's a good thing to pitch folks in at the deep end. They learn to swim by themselves.

    Oopps - point taken.

    Continue chiming in, Arnold. The world would be boring without caretakers.

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