Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I asked this question on a different site but I haven't gotten a useful answer. Could you tell me the difference in meaning between these sentences?

  1. Do you think you will visit them next week?
  2. Will you visit them next week?
  3. Are you going to visit them next week?
  4. Are you visiting them next week?
  5. Are you going to be visiting them next week?
  6. Are you planning to be visiting them next week?
  7. Do you plan to visit them next week?

Will there be any difference in the answers?

  1. I think I will visit them next week.
  2. I will visit them next week.
  3. I am going to visit them next week.
  4. I am visiting them next week.
  5. I am going to be visiting them next week.
  6. I am planning to be visiting them next week.
  7. I plan to visit them next week.

Can I use "planning to" instead of "going to"? (E.g. "Are you planning to visit them next week? — Yes, I am planning to visit them next week.") Which of these sentences show that the subject of conversation has already been discussed? For example, I talked with a friend of mine about my plans to visit somebody. So my friend is aware of my plans.

And my last question. Which of these seven sentences express that the action will certainly take place?

share|improve this question
    
There are more. For example, "Will you be visiting them next week?" "Are you planning to visit them next week?" "Do you think you will be visiting them next week?" –  Peter Shor Feb 5 '12 at 15:26
1  
I think this question is "not constructive" - it's far too vague. –  FumbleFingers Feb 5 '12 at 16:46
    
It's not that it's not constructive, it's that I can't tell what's being asked. I.e. not a real question. –  Marthaª May 2 '12 at 16:32

3 Answers 3

In my understanding, "planning to" just expresses the desire and the preliminary arrangements being made to do something.

On the other hand "going to" is used when the plan of doing something is completed and the action will be carried out soon.

For example, when I say" I am planning to buy a new car", the ultimate decision is not made. Here I am expressing my desire. However, when I say" I am going to buy a new car" the planning stage is over and I have made the final decision to buy a new car.

I use present continuous and say "I am buying a new car next week", only when I have made the decision, arranged the money and fixed even the time of buying the car. The action is immediate and certain.

share|improve this answer

When you use "WILL" that means you are responding to a situation given for the 1st time a one you haven't heard before.

Ann is your friend and gives you a phone call "I have lost my glasses today ... I am so desperate for them .." you respond, "I will help you to find them!" This means you are ready to do it but you don't know when you will join Ann in looking for her glasses.

Then Peter rings you up, "Hello, are you free this afternoon?" You respond "Sorry, I have just spoken to Ann and I am going to join her in looking for her glasses." This action has been planned already so that this will happen, that's why present continuous takes over.

As far as "planning to" vs. "going to":

Again, let's take an example: "I am planning to work from 6am till 6pm this week" doesn't mean you will stick to it; it's just a plan. "I am going to work from 6am till 6pm this week" means that you mean it, and you will do everything in your power to keep to it.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, ray and everyone for your answers. I am not confused anymore. Hmmm, but I do have one question. Will there be any difference between 'I am working next week' and 'I am going to be working?' I forgot the difference :S. –  Monica Feb 6 '12 at 9:39
    
Thank you, ray and everyone for your answers. I am not confused anymore. Hmmm, but I do have another question. The difference between present simple, present continuous, and planning to is clear to me now, but will there be any difference between these statements 'I am working next week' and 'I am going to (be) work/ working next week?' I forgot the difference :S. Thanks –  Monica Feb 6 '12 at 9:48
    
Using present continuous /without going to / refers to an activity which is moře or less of a repetitive nature .GOING TO is moře about plans and predictions as you can see below –  ray Feb 6 '12 at 13:18

going to

use (be) going to to talk about future plans and predictions....

present continuous for future arrangements

You can also use the present continuous for future arrangements which we have planned for a fixed time or place.

The present continuous is especially common with the expressions :

tonight tomorrow this weekend, etc..

For plans which which involve other people and have a fixed time and place, the present continuous is more common.

For plans which do not involve other people, be going to is more common.

Will (predictions)

to talk about a future predictions use :

  • I think
  • I suppose
  • Maybe
  • perhaps
  • I'm sure

Will

  • Decisions
  • Offers
  • Promises
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.