I would say that you are right
I don't think so, though the textbook used it as an example.
I'm trying to get my students to distinguish between present simple (routine, repeated) and present continuous (now), and then I have to explain to them how "tonight" is "now".
I think that when we say "I'm going to the movies tonight" it's verbal shorthand for "I'm going to go to the movies tonight" (future continuous) and that we drop the "to go" in speech because it seems redundant, though correct.
Am I right? Or is there a different explanation?
I would say that you are right
"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
- Woody Allen
I'm not sure about that. How about this example?
"When's your plane?"
"I'm flying at 6 tonight."
That sounds permissible to me but there's nothing dropped from the sentence. I think that we often use the present continuous for definite future plans and (perhaps) the difference between using the present continuous and 'going to' is the degree of certainty (present continuous for unchangeable plans but 'going to' for intentions which have yet to be fixed).
"When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes."
It's simply :
Present continuous (progressive). I'm going to the movies (now)
Future w/ will. ---->I will go to the movies (tonight)
Future w/going to ----->I'm going to go to the movies (tonight)
Pres. Cont. W/ Future meaning. ----->I'm going to the movies tonight.
(Not recommended to teach the last 'tense" to beginners. Much better to let them master using pres. cont. first, (and the other 9 useful tenses) before teaching this exception.
USE 3 Near Future
Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.
- I am meeting some friends after work.
- I am not going to the party tonight.
- Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
- Isn't he coming with us tonight?
ENGLISH PAGE - Present Continuous
Last edited by jimbo; 29th August 2008 at 16:12. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
~ Tom Waits
Its future with a plan. Premeditated. I am going to the movies tonight. You friend says, the theater burned down. Well I will go out to dinner then. Will with an instantaneous decision.
Agreed its been shortened as well. No infinitive.
Too long in Exile, too long not singing my song.
Too long like a rolling stone, Too long in exile
Too long in Exile, baby you just arent my friend.
Too long in Exile my friend, Baby you can never go home again.
Van the Man 1993
not future continuous, future plan. i'm going to be married in june.
sorry ao's got it
i'm going to be married in june.
I will marry in june.
I'm going to get married in june.
I'm getting married in june.
I'm marrying in june.
Other models include: I'm a teacher and I'm teaching English now. Jub is an engineer but he's learning English now.
Last edited by crew; 29th August 2008 at 16:40. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
"I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?
It's future simple replacing "will" with "be going to"
from Jimbo's fine link:
I will go to the movies tonight.
I'm going to go to the movies tonight. (drop "go to" sometimes in common speech)
ENGLISH PAGE - Simple Future
Advanced Writing Course
GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
The future simple tense describes actions that happen in the future.
I will visit my friend Laura tomorrow.Explanation
I am going to visit my friend Laura tomorrow.
The future simple:
- uses will + verb to describe actions decided at the moment of speaking or writing, or actions that are not certain.
For example: I think I will eat dinner at 6:00 tonight.
- uses to be going to + verb to describe actions or events already decided now.
For example: I am going to eat dinner at 6:00 tonight.
^ I would figure that is a from a book that has been made to simplify the tenses as much as possible. Acceptable, but a bit mickey mouse IMHO.
Let's fight about it.
here's something that can help the students:
The future can be made two ways
be going to.
will + simple form
be going to
am/is/are going to + simple form
will and be going to are different. Some simple
Most of the time,
will and be going to have the same meaning. There are a
few times, however, that only one sounds right to an American. The complete
rules are pretty involved and have a bunch of exceptions, but if you follow the
rules below, you’ll be okay nearly all of the time. (If you want a more complete
A. You can use both
will and be going to to show that someone thinks that
this action will happen in the future (predictions).
B. If you are volunteering to help or promising to do something, use
C. If you are describing a plan that was made in the past but will be
completed in the future, it’s safer to use
be going to. Will often
Last edited by Farangrakthai; 29th August 2008 at 18:20.
I'm sticking with this:
Future w/'will' ---->I will go to the movies (tonight)
Future w/'going to'----->I'm going to go to the movies (tonight)
Pres. Cont. W/ Future meaning ----->I'm going to the movies tonight.
^ Yep, that's how I teach it.