Exercise 1

Choose the most appropriate future forms to complete the dialogues below. Choose 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 an probably 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 an 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 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.


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