Question about using Present continuous and Present simple to talk about future arrangements?

According to a site, we use Present Continuous to talk or ask about future arrangements, i.e. future actions that are already planned or decided. For example: “According to my diary, we are meeting the buyers at 7 p.m. tomorrow”.

But then, why is there this sentence (about Present Simple): “The film starts at 5 p.m”?

I mean, consequently shouldn't the first sentence be "According to my diary, we MEET the buyers at 7 p.m. tomorrow"? Anyone could explain me this? Thank you.


Thank you, guys

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "meeting buyers" is presumably a one-time event, a scheduled meeting, not something you do with the same clients or at the same time every day.  Movies are shown on a set schedule, usually at the same times every day, therefore = "starts".

    If you want to be totally correct, say "We will be meeting the buyers at 7pm."  Using the present continuous for the future may be common, but it's very informal, bordering on slang almost. It isn't used in formal speech.

    Oh and you mean "according to my PLANNER", not "diary".  A diary is a private book in which someone writes their innermost thoughts about their life at the end of each day. At least in the US.

  • 1 month ago

    You could say "we meet the buyers", in many cases, it's interchangeable with 'are meeting'. You could choose to say 'the film is starting at 5 pm' as well. Which one you choose (meet/are meeting, etc) is often just a question of personal choice, or, rarely, used to emphasize the verb for some other purpose.

    For example, "The film starts at five' implies that this is a fixed event that usually occurs, sort of like "I work at the store" or "I go to school". These are regular events that are in the present and continue on schedule. But if you say "I am working at the store", "I am going to school" etc, it usually means you have a reason to emphasize what you are doing, or what you're doing right now. ("I'm not working tomorrow, I'm going to school instead.") So if you said "the film is starting at five", you might be saying that because you don't want to be late, or for some reason, the act of beginning this particular film is significant. ("We can't hang around, the film is starting/the boat is leaving, the plane is boarding, etc)

    this is a very subtle difference, I hope I haven't confused you more.

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