Thursday, June 14, 2007

Present Progressive with Future Meaning

In addition to the two basic functions of the Present Progressive (to talk about something happening at this moment and to talk about something happening generally at this time), the Present Progressive verb tense can also be used to talk about the future.

For example:

Q. What are you doing tonight?
A. I'm having dinner with my mother.

Q. When is she coming home?
A. She is coming home this weekend.

This usage is similar to "be going to," which is also used with a Simple Future meaning.

Q. What are you going to do tonight?
A. I'm going to have dinner with my mother.

The meanings are the same and can be used interchangeably.

--end--

2 comments:

ejw said...

Found your blog while doing a google search about the present progressive with future meaning -- nice! I was wondering at what level you think it is appropriate to teach this use of the present progressive? Should it be taught more or less in conjunction with the use of the present progressive for present events, or should one wait until the students are more advanced? I'd very much appreciate any advice you have on this. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

In Germany it's taught in grade 7. The students had English lessons since their 3rd grade by then and are about 12-13 years old. Hope this helps! And great blog btw, thx!!!