Different futures


When a future event is planned or arranged, use the present continuous or be going to:

  • I’m meeting her tonight.
  • I’m going to meet her tonight.

When a future event is timetabled or arranged as part of a regular and repeating schedule, use the present simple:

  • My plane leaves at 6.00.
  • The exam is on Thursday at 9.00 sharp. So don’t be late!

When a future action can be predicted because of evidence in the present, use be going to:

  • Look at the sky! It’s going to rain.
  • They’re too close, they‘re going to crash.

When a future action is an intention, decided at the moment of speaking, use will:

  • My computer’s died. How are we going to finish the project?
    Don’t worry, I‘ll pop home and get my laptop.
  • It’s time for tea: can one of you call your father in from the garden?
    OK mum, I’ll do it.

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