Grammar 3-16 | High Beginner 3

Present Continuous - Future

Listen to four short conversations using the present continuous to discuss the future.

Conversation #1
Man: Why are you leaving early?
Woman: I’m going to the dentist.
Man: Why? Do you have a toothache?
Woman: No, I’m getting my teeth cleaned.
Man: Well, if you are leaving early, I’m leaving early too.
Woman: Fine with me!

Conversation #2
Man: What are you doing tonight?
Woman: I’m meeting my mom for dinner?
Man: Oh! Where are you going?
Woman: We are going to the new Thai restaurant. Join us!
Man: Thanks, but I can’t. I’m playing futsal tonight.
Woman: Well, maybe next time.

Conversation #3
Man: What classes are you taking next term?
Woman: I’m taking math and history.
Man: Nice, I’m taking math too!
Woman: Who is teaching the class?
Man: Prof Smith is teaching it.
Woman: Oh no, I hear he is hard!

Conversation #4
Man: What is going on tonight?
Woman: Bill is having a party.
Man: Oh, really! When and where?
Woman: He’s having it at his house. It is starting at six.
Man: Who is going?
Woman: Everyone’s going. You should come!

Present Continuous

Point 1: We often use the present continuous for plans we do not expect to change.
  1. I am meeting my dad tonight.
  2. I am working tomorrow.
  3. I'm not doing anything tonight.
  4. I'm not leaving until Monday.
Point 2: We often use the present continuous when someone else is aware of your plans, meaning it is scheduled.
  1. I'm meeting Sue tomorrow.
  2. My mother is coming over tonight.
  3. She's not arriving until Sunday.
  4. The meeting is starting soon.
Point 3: If the plans involve just one person, we usually use going to + verb instead.
  • I am not working tomorrow. (Other people expect it)
  • I am going to stay home and study.
  • Bob is not coming to the party. (Other people expect it)
  • He is going to skip the party this time.
Point 4: Going to and the present perfect are very close in meaning. You can usually use going to instead of the present continuous the meaning stays the same.
  1. I am meeting my friend for lunch.
  2. I am going to meet my friend for lunch.
  3. I am leaving for Spain on Monday.
  4. I am going to leave for Spain on Monday.
Point 5:The difference between will, going to and the present continuous depends on how much people know in advance.
  1. I will meet you tomorrow. (I just thought to do this)
  2. I am going to meet you tomorrow. (I already thought of it)
  3. I'm meeting you tomorrow. (It's scheduled. Other people know about it)
Answer the following questions about the interview.