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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
B: OK

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

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  • Or maybe "We will start tomorrow" ... ? Commented Feb 10, 2015 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
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 6:08
  • 1
    @dVaffection Simple present can be used for future events: edufind.com/english-grammar/simple-present-future-events.
    – pyobum
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 7:30
  • 1
    @pyobum For instance let's take a phrase "I'm not doing it". To me it sounds like a colloquial replacement for "I'm not going to do it". At the same time I can't say "I don't do it" as a replacement because it implies I just don't do that on a regular basis. Can I say "I don't do that tomorrow"?
    – Dmitry
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 8:41
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    @dVaffection No - not for the sense you are trying to achieve. But you could say I won't (will not) do that tomorrow. Your first comment summed up the position brilliantly.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 8:49

2 Answers 2

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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.

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  • Excellent answer. I also want to share Present Forms for the Future.
    – Dmitry
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 9:01
  • I dispute your claims as to how those forms are usually used. 1. You will inherit my car. The Sun will go red giant in five billion years. 2. "We're all going to die!" "Careful, that's going to break." 3. & 4. Present continuous and present simple as such don't even indicate the future: More context is needed, such as a time adverb. It's that context which makes these forms suit statements about appointments. "I get my new car." doesn't cut itl the sentence needs the time adverb.
    – Rosie F
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 10:33
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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?

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  • 6
    "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" Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 8:36

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