Here's an example of a short conversation between me and a native speaker via text messages:

A: I'm so exited for this app
B: Yeah, me too
A: We start tomorrow

Shouldn't it be "We are starting tomorrow"?!

  • Or maybe "We will start tomorrow" ... ? – dodgy_coder Feb 10 '15 at 6:06
  • Why do you think it should be "We are starting tomorrow"? In what way do you think "We start tomorrow" may be incorrect? – Kris Feb 10 '15 at 6:08
  • @Kris Well because the person A definitely means action in future – dVaffection Feb 10 '15 at 6:14
  • 1
    @dVaffection Simple present can be used for future events: edufind.com/english-grammar/simple-present-future-events. – pyobum Feb 10 '15 at 7:30
  • @pyobum Your link makes a good point! Though now I'm confused even more, in English a future action can be expressed using present simple, present continuous, "going to" construction and of course future tense. – dVaffection Feb 10 '15 at 8:38

No, it doesn't need to be we are starting tomorrow

In a very brief and general way, there are four ways to talk about the future in English:

  • Using will as in I will answer the door. This is usually used for instantaneous decisions.

  • Using going to as in I am going to buy a new car. This is usually used for plans.

  • Using present continuous as in I am buying a new car. This is usually used for arrangements.

  • Using present simple, as in I get my new car this afternoon! This is usually used for things that are scheduled or on a timetable.

As a sequence, you decide you need a new car - I'll buy a car; then you tell everybody about your plan - I'm going to buy a car; then you go to the showroom, pick one out, and arrange to pay for it - I am buying a new car; then everything is finalised and they tell you the date and time when you can go to collect it - I get my new car next week.

This is not a random thing. It does make sense. Will because it is your will that you should have a car. Think of writing a will before you die. Going to because you have a target - a new car - that you are moving towards. Present continuous because you have begun the process of obtaining a new car. Present simple when it has become as good as a fact.


I am under the impression that texting, for the sake of abbreviations and short sentences, is not usually subjected to proper grammar rules.It is a new usage and style that have wide implications.

So your sentence We start tomorrow is proper in this context.If meant to be a question a question mark should be added, We start tomorrow? or Start tomorrow? or starting tomorrow?

  • 4
    "We start tomorrow" is correct in any context, and has nothing to do with texting. The simple present is used for future events that are timetabled or scheduled - "The train leaves at 6:30" – Roaring Fish Feb 10 '15 at 8:36

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