Unit 2.2

Present Continuous for Future

Introduction

The future is the tense used to predict or express future events.

When we use the present continuous structure we refer to fixed plans.

Form

The present continuous, in its affirmative form, has this structure:
Subject + to be + [verb + -ing] + …

Regular

We add -ing at the end of the verb:

  • short form is the same as the short form of to be (spoken language or informal writing): I’m – you’re – he’s…
SUBJECT TO BE VERB + -ING
I am (not) working
You are (not) working
He is (not) working
She is (not) working
It is (not) working
We are (not) working
You are (not) working
They are (not) working

Exceptions

The exceptions of the present continuous in the affirmative form are:

  • verbs with suffix -e: drop -e and add -ing;
INFINITIVE VERB + -ING
write writing
smile smiling
take taking
  • verbs ending in a consonant which comes after a vowel, verbs with the accent on the last syllable and verbs ending in -l: double the consonant;
INFINITIVE VERB + -ING
sit sitting
begin beginning
spill spilling
  • verbs with suffix -ie: drop -ie and add -ying.
INFINITIVE VERB + -ING
die dying
lie lying
tie tying

Example

  • I’m having dinner with Max tomorrow. 
  • You’re visiting Italy next month.  
  • She’s having a job interview next week.
  • Is he having an exam the day after tomorrow?
  • We’re meeting our friends soon. 
  • Our parents are taking us to the pool next Sunday. 

Use

We use present continuous to express, deny or ask about planned future activities or fixed arrangements whose time has already been decided.

Summary

Present continuous can be used to express the future or to refer to fixed plans.

For example:
— “I am working on an important project the whole month.” = We use the present continuous for future because we are expressing the near future (soon).
♦ “I am working on an important project the whole month.” = We use the present continuous because we are expressing our current situation (now).
♦ “I will work on an important project the whole month.” = We use the future simple because we express a more distant period of time (future).

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercises