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.