Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Grammar Basics: Unit 26 – What are you doing tomorrow?

As we have already seen, the present continuous (am / is / are + V-ing) is used for something that is happening now. However, we can also use it for some future events as well:


I’m going to the mountains on my vacation next summer.
He’s taking a test tomorrow.
She’s singing a solo in the concert next weekend.

Similarly, we can use the present continuous to indicate that we have decided to do something, or have arranged to do something:


Can you come to our house next weekend? We’re having a party.
Are you running in the marathon this fall?
I broke my foot this summer, so I’m not going to run.
What are you doing this Friday?
I’m going to go see a movie.

In particular, “am / is / are going to V something”:
We’re going to have a baby.

Do not use the simple present for plans or arrangements. However, when talking about schedules, simple present is okay:


What time does your class start?
It starts at 8 a.m. every day!
The train leaves the station at exactly 7:15.
Please don’t be late – the movie starts at 1:45.

Exercises: Complete the following sentences using either the present continuous or the simple present.


What (you / go) to do on your day off? ==> What are you going to do on your day off?

1. Get to bed early – tomorrow we (leave) at 6 in the morning.

2. I’m so tired, I (go) to go home and go straight to bed.

3. The bus (come) every 15 minutes, so it’s fairly convenient.

4. Mary has to stay home – the plumber (come) this afternoon to fix the toilet.

5. The engaged couple (plan) a June wedding.

6. When (the next train / leave)?

7. I (take) TOEFL this summer so I can attend university in the fall.

8. John (work) every day next week.

9. I thought he said the concert (start) at 7:30.

10. Susan (bake) a cake for Tom’s surprise party tomorrow.

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