Present Continuous for future

The present continuous tense can be a little confusing because it has several different uses. In this video we are going to look how we can use the present continuous tense to talk about the future.

In the last video we looked at the main use of The Present Continuous tense, which is to talk about an action that is in progress. Here is an example from that video:

  • I am taking a break.

The action of taking a break is happening now, it is in progress NOW and will CONTINUE for some time into the future. That is why is it called the Present Continuous. That makes sense right?

Yes it does. But the name of this tense only refers to this use, the main use. Look at this example:

“I am having dinner with a friend tomorrow.”

Here were are talking about the future, tomorrow. We are using the present continuous for future. So why is is called the present continuous? Well like I said that name refers to the main use. But we can also use it like this, and in this context the name present continuous doesn’t really seem to make sense.

Present Continuous for Future arrangements

But it makes more sense if you think of it like this; At this moment I have an arrangement or a commitment that will continue until tomorrow.

So we can use the Present Continuous for future arrangement.

All you need to do to form the present continuous for future arrangement is add a time reference. Here is an example:

  • I am walking home this evening.

So you start with Present continuous as normal, with the auxiliary verb ‘to be’.

in the correct form am, is or are, then the main verb in the ing form and then you add the time reference, in this case it is this evening.

It doesn’t matter if the time reference is soon or not for a long time, as long as it is in the future it could be used with the present continuous as long as it’s being used to talk about an arrangement.

It could be:

  • next year.
  • next month.
  • tomorrow.
  • in a minute.
  • at 6pm.
  • next.

Here are some more examples.

  • You’re going to university next year.
  • He’s working from home next month.
  • It’s happening tomorrow.
  • She’s leaving in a minute.
  • We’re arriving at 6pm.
  • The doctor is seeing me next.

The time reference could also come at the beginning of the sentence. So these examples could be:

  • This evening I’m walking home.
  • Next year you’re going to university.
  • Next month he’s working from home.
  • Tomorrow, it’s happening.
  • In a minute she’s leaving.
  • At 6pm, we’re arriving.
  • Next, the doctor is seeing me.

So in this video we have looked at how we can use the present continuous for future arrangements in the future.

In the the last video we looked at the main use of the present continuous tense, to talk about an action in progress at or around the time of speaking.

Next, we are looking at how some times the present continuous tense is used to talk about things that happen more frequently that is expected. This is sometimes called Present Continuous For Habits.

There are also some verbs that we can not put into the present continuous tense, these are called state verbs and finally, sometimes we also use the “ing” form of a verb to make it a gerund and gerunds look like verbs but function differently.