Grammar-QuizzesVerb PhrasesVerbsPresent › Scheduled Events

Present Tense — Scheduled Events

Refer to planned activities in the future

calendar
 

 

DINOSAURS!   The Exhibit Will Open This Week

dinosaurThe very popular Dinosaurs! exhibition is returning to the Lawrence Hall of Science this week. Dinosaurs! features fourteen, giant, robotic creatures, real dinosaur fossils, activity stations for visitors and daily, live demonstrations on dinosaur topics.            

The show will include two new prehistoric reptiles, Elasmosaurus and Mosasaurus. Some of the robotic dinosaurs are full-size. Opening-day activities will feature a presentation by Kevin Palin on the latest dinosaur discoveries and a series of art and science demonstrations. Tickets will be sold at the door. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

accompany (V) — go with another person (or thing)

discoveries (N) – new findings

demonstrations (N) – lectures showing how to do something

exhibition (N) – show

fossils (N) – very old bones, or plant remains preserved in rocks

feature (V) – offer something as a special attraction

robotic creatures (N) – computerized, machine-like animals

topics (N) – subjects

prehistoric (Adj) – before the time of written history; very old

reptiles  (N) – animals such as snakes or lizards

 

 

 
ROUTINE — ROUTINELY HAPPENS

We use present tense for regularly occurring (weekly, monthly, yearly) activities.  "This is what routinely happens, and it will happen again in the future."   (expected)                 

THIS HAPPENS REGULARLY

The exhibition returns to the Hall of Science this week.

Dinosaurs!  features life-like creatures. 

The exhibit includes two new reptiles.

Do you go to it? (routinely)

*Yes, I leave in a few minutes. (not a habitual activity)

*What do you do after that? (an open question; routinely) 

NEAR FUTURE —  ABOUT TO HAPPEN

We use present progressive for activities in our current time frame (discussions of personal arrangements and fixed plans.)  "This is what I  can see coming." (impending)

I CAN SEE THIS HAPPENING SOON

The exhibition is returning to the Hall of Science this week.   ("current events")

Dinosaurs! is featuring life-like creatures.

The exhibitors are including two new reptiles. (fixed plans)

Are you going to it? (personal arrangement, near future)

Yes, I'm leaving in a few minutes. 

What are you doing afterward? (fixed plans)

 

 

 

 

FAR FUTURE — SCHEDULED  EVENT

"Future tense" formed with modal will +verb is used for reporting scheduled activities or for making predictions, sure guesses or calculations. "This is what is scheduled or predicted to happen."  No particular focus is placed on the timing or the flow of the event. Note that in English, the future tense is expressed with a verb group rather than inflection (a suffix) to the verb.

THIS IS SCHEDULED OR PREDICTED TO HAPPEN

The exhibition will return to the Hall of Science next week. 

Dinosaurs! will feature life-like creatures.

The exhibit will include new reptiles. 

We will go to it.  (think, guess) 

What will you do after that? (unknown plans)
 

FAR FUTURE—SCHEDULED EXPERIENCE

"Future progressive" is formed with will be verb-ing and is used for reporting a scheduled activity with special focus on its timing— as if one is standing in the future and experiencing the flow of the activity. (This tense is often used in advertising to get people to relate to a future event as "a happening", a lively activity that they wouldn't want to miss.)

REPORTING THE SCHEDULED EVENT IN AN ACTIVE MANNER

The exhibition will be returning to the Hall of Science next week. 

Dinosaurs! will be featuring life-like creatures.

The exhibit will include new reptiles.  (stative–not progressive)

We will be going to it.  (imagining the flow of time in the future) 

Will you be joining us for the event? (politely requesting plans)
 

 

will be verb-ing (modal verb group) "Future progressive" is not actually a tense.  It is a modal verb group.   See Inflected Tense vs. Auxiliary Verb Tense.

Also see Be going / Will and Future Progressive (will be verb-ing).

*not used.

 

 

 

 

 

Present Tense vs. "Will"

Express what you observe rather than predict

 

 

Observation vs. Prediction

OBSERVATION

We use present progressive for activities and events that we can see coming.  The completion time is in the future, but the personal time-frame is a present one.

This trip is costing you a lot of money.  (I can see the charges.)

She is having a baby. (I can see she is pregnant.)

She is going to have a baby. (I can see this will happen soon.)

Hold on.  We're sinking(I can see water flooding the boat.)
 

PREDICTION

We use will for activities and events about which we have enough information to make a guess.  We aren't actually observing it, but can predict it happening.

This trip will cost you a lot of money. (prediction)

The baby will have blue eyes. (prediction)

She will have her baby in a month or two. (prediction)

Pay attention. You will sink the boat.  (prediction)
 

 

observation (N) – what you can see

prediction (N) — what you expect or believe will happen with the knowledge you have it

 

 

 

 

 

 

Present Adverbs (time expressions)

Specify the timing of an action or activity

walking
 

 

Present Time Expressions — definite vs. indefinite timing

DEFINITE TIMING  "HAPPENING AROUND NOW"

Adverbial expressions with definite timing are used when actions can be marked on a timeline (clock/calendar); they have endpoints/goals. Compare: I am walking to class today. (definite timing, it ends when I arrive at class) to I walk to class. (indefinite timing, "timeless", no endpoint, a routine).

WITH PROGRESSIVE VERBS WITH PROGRESSIVE VERBS

I am walking to class now

*I walk to class now.

I am walking to class today

*I walk to class today.¹

NOW THIS ...

now (just now, right now)

currently (presently)

today / tonight (word origin – this day, this night) 

 

at the moment  (for now, for the time being, for now, at present)

this month  (time not passed: morning, evening, week, semester, this spring, year, decade, century)

as we speak (expression: now)

these moments  (time not passed: weeks, months, semesters, years)

still (with a negative verb: no longer)

Used with progressive.

this Tuesday (June 20, June 20, 2020) (in the current week)

 

 

INDEFINITE TIMING "HAPPENING SOMETIME"

Adverbial expressions with indefinite timing are used when activities or states happen "sometime", not related to a timeline. The precise time is not important. The focus is on the activity or state.  These adverbs express duration (a period of time) or repetition (the interval of occurrence).

BOTH PROGRESSIVE & NON BOTH PROGRESSIVE & NON

I am walking to class temporarily.

I walk to class during the week.

I am walking to class often.

I walk to class often.

DURATION  REPETITION

temporarily(continuously, briefly, momentarily) [imperfective, ongoing] ⇒ Mostly progressive.

repeatedly(constantly, continuously, again and again, perpetually, eternally)⇒ Switch to "keep" with progressive.³

for a moment (ten minutes, a week, a month, for a while², a little while, a day,  forever)  ⇒ Often present perfect.

always (routinely, customarily, usually, in general, normally, often, sometimes, hardly ever, never)

during the week (month, year, etc.) ⇒ Mostly nonprogressive.

at night (noon, midnight, sunset)

in spring (winter, summer, June, July)

from Monday to Tuesday(1 PM to 2 PM, morning to night)

⇒ Mostly nonprogressive.

on Mondays (Tuesday, Sundays, etc.)

most days (nights, weekends, etc.)

while it is warm(a relative time: when, if, whenever, before, after)  before lunch  (after)

every / each / every other day  (hour, day, night, week, month, year, May, spring)

 

¹ adverbs like today or this month include time that is past, present and future. With the present tense, we understand the time to be present, current, now. "I walk to class today," could also be understood as a scheduled activity. See Scheduled Events—Routine vs. Near Future.

² for a while (PP) – can be understood in two ways: (1) having some amount of duration, or (2) being very temporary

³ keep + verb+ing – Repetition can be expressed by using the "keep" (I keep walking.  He kept smiling.)  The progressive with "repeatedly" (*I am walking to class repeatedly. )sounds awkward.

Specific adverbial pages: Frequency Adverbs| Preps for Time—In v. On v. At | During v. In | For-Since

Related tense pages:   Past vs. Progressive | Present vs. Present Perfect Progressive | Future vs. Future Progressive (will)

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

A Trip

traveling suitcase
 

 

Present, present progressive or future?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

The Economy

job hunting
 

 

Present, present progressive or future?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Car Servicing

car being serviced

 

Present, present progressive or future?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

3.