"Can I come and stay with you and Dad?"
"Of course, dear. How long do you think you [____] (verb to stay)?"

The question is, is it "are going to stay" or "are staying" (or some other choice), and why?

  • 2
    and will stay?
    – bib
    Feb 19, 2015 at 22:20
  • I haven't considered that option because (will form) doesn't express a plan. Am I right? Feb 19, 2015 at 22:22
  • Why not? The very fact of questioning in advance suggests that there is a plan.
    – bib
    Feb 19, 2015 at 22:23
  • Hence, (will form) is not valid. I mean we use (going to form) and (present continues form) to express a plan not the (will form). Feb 19, 2015 at 22:25
  • 2
    Forget about the stringent teaching of your grammar book about which tenses express plans and which ones don't. The short answer is that the "will + infinitive" form is perfectly valid, so are both of the options you put forward. The future continuous is better, but the present continuous is acceptable in colloquial speech too.
    – Einheri
    Feb 20, 2015 at 1:30

2 Answers 2


You need a Future Continuous construction there to indicate that the action starts in the future and lasts for some significant period of time.

Are Staying is a Present Continuous construction, which would indicate that the staying has already started, so it's not correct.

Are going to stay or will be staying are both valid Future Continuous forms, as shown at the link above (to EnglishPage.com), so either would suffice.

  • 1
    If some girl said "I'm getting married next month", does it mean that the marriage has already started? :D Feb 19, 2015 at 23:53

Both sentences are grammatically correct. And both, at least informally, mean the same thing.

  • Thanks, but I was asking about the academic use. It was asked in a test of English language :) Feb 19, 2015 at 22:19

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