Future with Present Continuous

PRESENT CONTINUOUS FOR FUTURE EVENTS

1. Present Continuous for the Future: Form

See notes on form in section on Present Continuous.

Subject + to be + base-ing

She

is

meeting

2. Future: Present Continuous for the Future: Function

The present continuous is used to talk about arrangements for events at a time later than now.
There is a suggestion that more than one person is aware of the event, and that some preparation has already happened. e.g.

  • I'm meeting Jim at the airport = and both Jim and I have discussed this.
  • I am leaving tomorrow. = and I've already bought my train ticket.
  • We're having a staff meeting next Monday = and all members of staff have been told about it.

Examples

  • Is she seeing him tomorrow?
  • He isn't working next week.
  • They aren't leaving until the end of next year.
  • We are staying with friends when we get to Boston.

Note: in example (a), seeing is used in a continuous form because it means meeting.

BE CAREFUL! The simple present is used when a future event is part of a programme or time-table. Notice the difference between:

a. We're having a staff meeting next Monday.
b. We have a staff meeting next Monday.(= we have a meeting every Monday, it's on the time-table.)