Grammar Focus: Present Progressive
Grammar Focus: Present Progressive – Basic competence: Understanding the use of present progressive tense to make plans in the future time.
In this lesson, you will learn about the concept of present progressive tense and how to use it as an expression of activities that will be performed in the future time.
Using Present Progressive Tense
Chacha is studying.
I am going to watch a movie.
Look at the above examples carefully.
Is there any difference in using the tense or in the meaning of the two examples above?
Do you notice them? Let’s take a closer look into each of them.
In the first example, the sentence means that Chacha is doing an activity at the time being; she is studying at the moment when someone is making a statement about her. This is just one way of using the present progressive tense [be + V-ing]; i.e. for indicating an action in progress. It gives an idea that an action is in the progress during a particular time. Take a look at other examples below.
Andi is sleeping right now.
Azza is writing a chat line at the moment.
In addition to that, as shown in the second example, you may notice that present progressive can be used to state a plan in the future.
The function of present progressive tense to state future plans is different with the use ofWILL. The differences between WILL and present progressive are explained in the following.
Usually, we make plans using the future tense such as:
I will go to a mall.
I will ride a bicycle tomorrow.
Besides the example above, we can use the present progressive tense to replace the use of future time ‘will’. Look at examples below:
I am going to eat at the cafeteria downstairs.
He is going to buy Murakami’s new books.
The first one: to express prediction
You can use both future tense ‘will’and present progressive tense ‘be going to’ to express prediction in the future. Look at the examples below. In this case, present progressive tense IS NOT used to make statements about plans.
She will succeed because she works hard.
She is going to succeed because she works hard.
The second one: to express willingness
You use future tense ‘will’ to express willingness and spontaneous decision about a future plan. It means that you have no prior plan in doing something. Usually, it occurs spontaneously (without previous plan or without being thought over before). Look at the examples below:
Rani: Andrew, will you help me carrying this box?
Andrew: Sure, I will help you.
The third one: Using present progressive tense to express future time
To express prior plan—the plan you have made beforehand, you use present progressive tensebe going to. Look at the examples below.
I’m going to buy some books.
My father is going to paint our house.
So, to express plans for future time:
- You can use future time ‘will’, and you can also use present progressive tense ‘be going to’;
- When you have made a prior plan and it is likely to happen, use progressive tense.