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Today, we are going to explore the usage of present tenses for expressing future. In addition, I am going to introduce some advanced structures which can also be used.

The usage of present tenses is very specific, so let's have a look at it.


  • Is used to talk about (fixed) events which have been scheduled

  • Airline schedules, timetables, opening hours, departures / arrivals

The train from Brno arrives at 10:27 a.m.

The bank opens at 9:00.

The meeting is in room 9. It begins at 13:30 p.m.


  • a future arrangement, a plan that you have decided and organised with another person

  • intentions*

I'm meeting George at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

He's spending Easter with his family.

What are we doing for Christmas? (the person the arrangement is with does not have to be always stated)

* I'm asking for a pay rise tomorrow.

Both be going to and present continuous can be used for intentions. However, present continuous is not usually used for intentions in the distant future.

E.g. I am going to become a CEO one day. I am becoming a CEO one day.


For more advanced students

In addition, there are other expressions which can be used to express future.

  • Be (just) about to - for the (very) near future

I'm about to leave this company.

  • Be (just) on the point / verge of - for the (very) near future

I'm just on the point/verge of giving notice.

  • Be due to - for formal arrangements and scheduled events

The visitors are due to arrive at the plant at 7 o'clock.

  • Be to do - for obligations or formal announcements

    • Obligations

Mary is to prepare the speech and Anthony is to contact the participants about the changes in the schedule.

  • Commands and instructions

You are to go to the headteacher's office.

  • Headlines

The Prime Minister is about to announce an emergency plan on energy.

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