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Thread: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

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    Senior Member Array Asper's Avatar
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    "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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?

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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    I would say that you are right
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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).
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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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.
    Examples:
    • 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


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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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.
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    not future continuous, future plan. i'm going to be married in june.

    sorry ao's got it

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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.

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    Senior Member Array crew's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Pres. Cont. W/ Future meaning.
    yep.
    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Its future with a plan.
    nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny danger View Post
    i'm going to be married in june.
    'going to' future tense. (sub + aux v 'to be' + going + infinitive v)

    Quote Originally Posted by Asper View Post
    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.
    Sorry asp but that's incorrect. We simply use the present continuous tense to express a future intention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asper View Post
    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".
    Those nice split box picks that Raymond Murphy uses are excellent. They picture people at the their job, juxtaposed with what they're doing right now. The example sentences read, "Ron is a doctor." with him pictured in a coat with a stethascope. In the next pic, they've got, "Ron is watching television now." Students have to come up with sentences such as, "Ron is a doctor but he's not at work. Ron is watching television."

    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

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    Senior Member Array Farangrakthai's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    "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)
    Last edited by Farangrakthai; 29th August 2008 at 17:35. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member Array crew's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farangrakthai View Post
    It's future simple replacing "will" with "be going to"
    absolutely not.
    future simple (sub + will or shall + base v).

    Future going to:
    Quote Originally Posted by Farangrakthai View Post
    I'm going to go to the movies tonight.
    Quote Originally Posted by crew View Post
    (sub + aux v 'to be' + going + infinitive v)

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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    ^ 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.

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    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.


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    hangin' around Array Cyrille's Avatar
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    Re: "I'm going to the movies tonight" - present continuous?

    ^ Yep, that's how I teach it.

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