Present tenses | going to exercises with answers
There are several grammatical structures in the English language with future meaning. In this section you can study the tenses and forms that express arrangements, plans, intentions and opinions. (Note: you can find other forms in the red menu on the left hand side.)
Present simple | present continuous for future arrangements
With time expressions (next Friday, soon) the present simple and continuous (progressive) are used for definite future arrangements and plans. The time must be mentioned, otherwise the sentence would not have a future meaning.
I am watching TV tonight. (I will do it tonight, it is my plan.)
The continuous is more informal. It is the most usual way of expressing our personal plans.
I am leaving on Sunday. (I have decided to leave on Sunday, it is my plan.)
But: I leave on Sunday. (Someone else has decided it, it is someone's plan for me.)
The simple form is typically used in official statements and timetables.
The new shopping centre opens on 1 March.
The bus arrives at 6.55.
Going to - future intentions and predictions
1. It is used for intentions. We use it for decisions that we made before the moment of speaking.
I am going to clean the car and you can pack the suitcase.
We are going to reconstruct our house.
2. It is also used to express your opinion that something is certain to happen. There is evidence for your prediction.
Our team is going to win. (It is 4:0 and two minutes left. I am sure we will win the match.)
The planes are going to land. (You can see that they are coming closer and closer to the airport.)
Sometimes we can use all of these structures with a little difference in meaning.
I am travelling to France in May. (my personal arrangements)
I travel to France in May. (someone's plans for me)
I am going to travel to France in May. (my personal intentions)
- Try some present simple | present continuous for future and be going to exercises online to understand the different meaning.
- See also Present simple and continuous online exercises on this website.
- If you prefer a printable test in pdf, you can go to Esl worksheets where you can download it for free.
- Printable grammar rules are available at E-grammar rules (see the first item in the menu).