Present Simple Usage 7: For pre-planned, scheduled future actions

Yes, paradoxically, Present Simple is used in the future meaning to describe future actions and events. Namely, actions and events that are pre-planned, scheduled, fixed (by nature or people).

Hurry! The tide is at 2 and the bus leaves at 1!

What time you leave? (That is what my supervisor used to ask me, the “do” is absent)

I go on my vacation in July.

So, what is the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous when we want to talk about future arrangements, plans and schedules?

Well, we use Present Continuous when some planned event is inevitable. It is unlikely to change.

She is getting married in July.

In the above example it’s so much arrangement, it’s so much work in it. You don’t want to change the date.

Present Continuous instead of Present Simple for scheduled events

Can we substitute Present Simple with Present Continuous when speaking about a schedule?

Hurry! The bus leaves at 5!

Hurry! The bus is leaving at 5!

As a matter of fact, we can. When we want to emphasize the fact of inevitability of the situation. Even when talking about a timetable.

Present Continuous instead of Present Simple for planned events that are unlikely to change

Can we substitute Present Simple for Present Continuous when speaking about a planned event that is unlikely to change due to all our commitment to this plan?

She is getting married in July.

She gets married in July. (x)

I think we can. However, it’s more of a routine schedule rather than a dedication to do something or a situation that is unlikely to change.

She gets married in July. She gets divorced in August. What kind of life is it?

More on Present Simple:

Back to: Present Simple Tense

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