One of my Asian students asked me to explain the difference between phrases
A train will leave at 8:00.
A train leaves at 8:00.
To tell the truth I am not sure what would be a good explanation for an asian adult who speaks English for quite a while. I believe my student was looking for a detailed and reasonable explanation about particular situations in which we would use and prefer PS or PF tenses. Please, help!
English has 4 different future tenses. When the simple present is used as a future form it is usually in reference to a schedule, timetable or other fixed future event (usually not "fixed" by the speaker). The will form, the mislabeled "simple" future, is a little unusual here as it is usually used to indicate intention (as opposed to plan) or something of the nature of a prediction, promise or offer, none of which is really normal in regard to a train schedule.
Last edited by manned-rake; 13th August 2012 at 17:08.
i used to have a thai co-teacher who was gung ho about teaching the difference between 'is going to' and 'will' .
it was an almost impossible to teach. I tried to convince him that there were more important aspects to English...complete waste of time.
What is and is not a "complete waste of time" is relative to the student's level and interest, as well as to the teacher's.
Apparently some people find it almost impossible to teach the rather vast difference between "going to" and "will", and some students could care less.
So there's that...
The difference being talked about here has nothing to do with "rules" and everything to do with situations and intended meanings that require different usages. "Mastery of grammar rules" is for for those who can't do... of both varieties.
Having no particular axe to grind, I responded to the OP.
Telling him, even though he may not be "thai", to "read for pleasure every day", in response to his question would be viewed as disrespectful in some quarters. Adults sometimes ask questions. Teachers sometimes have answers. YMMV... almost certainly.
Papa was a rodeo - Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer before I learned to stand
Present simple is a scheduled event. The future simple could be indicating a promise, a decision made at time of speaking, a prediction, or could be official language perhaps used in a document, we don't know without a context. Present continuous with a future time reference for personal arrangements. Going to for general plans/intentions, and strong prediction. These are the four main future aspects taught, but there is also future continuous, future perfect and future perfect continuous. Oh and to really bake you cookies there are only two tenses in English.
JD notice the COULD which expresses possibility.