Using the present continuous for the future

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The present continuous at CEFR Level A2The present continuous at CEFR Level A2. In this lesson, we will look at how the the present continuous is used to talk about the future. We have already looked at the present continuous in Level A1, but let’s start with a review of how the present continuous is used and formed. Here are some examples:

  • I am studying English grammar now.
  • He‘s not working on Friday because it’s his day off.
  • Are they watching television right now?

We have also looked at using going to and will for the future. Here are some example:

  • I’m going to study at university next year.
  • They’re going to live in Italy after they get married.
  • “I’m going shopping.” “Are you? Wait a minute – I will come with you”.

Now we will look at using the present continuous for the future. We can use the present continuous to talk about future arrangements. For example:

  • I am meeting John next Friday.
  • I am flying to Spain on Tuesday.
  • I am having dinner with my friend tonight.

When we use the present continuous to talk about the future, it means you have already arranged it. So…

  • I am meeting John next Friday. (John knows about the meeting)
  • I am flying to Spain on Tuesday. (I  already have a ticket)
  • I am having dinner with my friend tonight. (my friend knows about the plan)

Deciding which structure to use to talk about the future really depends on what you are focusing on:

  • I am going to meet John next Friday. (FOCUS: to tell you that I have already made this decision)
  • I’ll meet John next Friday. (FOCUS: to tell you I have just made this decision)
  • I am meeting John next Friday. (FOCUS: to tell you that John knows about the meeting)

Now test yourself with this exercise on the present continuous at CEFR Level A2. Click the link in the table below.


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