Exercise 3

Fill in the gaps with the most appropriate future forms: present continuous, will or be going to . Use the verbs in brackets and choose present continuous where possible.

Dialogue 1

Ben: What 1 (do) after class?

George: Well, I 2  (walk) home and when I arrive home 3 I (do) my homework and cook dinner. And you?

Ben: I 4 (play) tennis with Monica and Jane at 7:30, but we need another player. Why don't you come?

George: With Monica and Jane? OK, I 5  (come). We can play doubles.

Ben: OK, no problem. But be prepared to lose; I 6 (play) my best tennis.

Dialogue 2

Tom: 7 (eat) that last hotdog?

Lisa: No, why? Do you want it?

Tom: Yes, please.

Lisa: But you 8 (have) dinner with your father in an hour.

Tom: Yes, but we 9 (eat) in that new fancy restaurant, and they serve very little food.

Lisa: OK, I 10 (heat) the hotdog in the microwave for you.



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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