An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises

Using the Present Continuous to talk about the Future: for arrangements.
Think about this:
What do you put in your diary?
Do you keep a diary - in English?
Which of the ideas below do you put in your diary?
(1). wash my hair (2). clean the house (3). do the washing
(4). make the beds (5). go to the dentist (6). go to the cinema with friends
(7). meal with John and Marie (8). go shopping (9). Addis Ababa
10. hairdressers' 11. go to bed early.

Answer: You usually put appointments e.g. (5), (10) or meetings (6), (7), or flights (9). Not the other things.

In addition: if you can put your activities in your 'mental' diary, or your plan for the day, then you have decided you are going to do them.
Use the Present Continuous, or 'going to' talk about them.
Look at the examples above again:
e.g. 7. I'm meeting John and Marie for a meal on Friday. (You could say 'I'm going to meet John and Marie for a meal on Friday, if you want to). BUT, if it's in your diary, you can't say 'I will meet John and Marie'.

Practice Exercise:
1. This evening we……(meet) some friends and …(go) to see a film
2. Next year we're planning a trip to China. We're….(join) a group of Dutch holidaymakers so it should be fun.
3. My birthday is in August so we………(have) a barbecue in the garden and…..(invite) a few friends and family.
4. At the week-end the pop stars ………(fly) to the desert to make a video.
5. My boss has got a doctor's appointment on Friday. He…….(have) a medical exam and a blood test. I hope everything's OK.

1. we're meeting friends/ going
2. we're joining a group
3. we're having a barbecue / inviting

4. the pop stars are flying to the desert
5. he's having a medical examination.

See The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage for the rules.

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