Exercise 1

Choose the most appropriate future forms to complete the dialogues below. Choose the present continuous where possible

Dialogue 1

Daughter: Dad, could you take me to the city centre this afternoon?

Father: Of course. I 1 you there after lunch if you want. I also need to go downtown because I 2 a client at 3. Where do you need to go?

Daughter: To the library. I 3 a couple of books that I need for university.

Father: No problem. I 4 you there on my way to the office.

Dialogue 2

Roy: What time 5 tomorrow?

Valeria: Very early. I 6 the 6.50 train.

Roy: Do you have the ticket?

Valeria: Not yet, because I 7 it online when I arrive home.

Dialogue 3

Ruth: I 8  for a drink with Jessica this evening. Would you like to come?

Sandra: No, 9 I the book I am reading. I need to finish it before tomorrow.

Ruth: Why do you need to finish it for tomorrow?

Sandra: Because I 10 my friends from the reading club tomorrow afternoon.



Present continuous (future arrangements)

We often use the present continuous to talk about the future, especially about future plans when we have decided a time and a place with other people. We normally use a future time expression, e.g. tomorrow, next week, at 7, etc.

  • I’m meeting Sally at 7. (=I have talked to her and we have arranged to meet.)
  • I’m flying to New York tomorrow morning. (=I have the ticket.)
  • We’re getting married next July. (=We have decided it and we have probably already made reservations for the restaurant, etc.)

The present continuous for future arrangements is very common with verbs of travelling, and when we are meeting people.

  • I’m leaving very early tomorrow. I’m taking the 7.30 train. 
  • I’m playing golf with Jack next Saturday. Would you like to come?
  • I’m seeing the dentist after class. 


Present continuous vs be going to

We can normally use the present continuous or be going to to talk about future plans.

  • I’m leaving very early tomorrow.
  • I’m going to leave very early tomorrow.

But we prefer using the present continuous when we have made arrangements (i.e. decided a place and time with somebody else). When use be going to, we put the emphasis on our intention to do something.

  • I’m going to study for the exams tomorrow. (=it’s my intention)
  • I’m leaving at 8 tomorrow. (=it’s an arrangement)
  • ‘Your car is dirty.’ ‘I know. I’m going to wash it tomorrow.’ (=it’s my intention, but I haven’t arranged to do it)


will for decisions

Use will for decisions that you take at the moment of speaking (instant decisions).

  • ‘Oh, we don’t have sugar.’ ‘Don’t worry, I’ll buy some.’


be going to or will for predictions

We use be going to or will (NOT the present continuous) to make predictions about the future. (⇒ See Grammar points » A2 Grammar » Will vs be going to – Future)

  • I think he’ll win the election.
  • The doctor said I’m going to have a girl.