When someone asks me, for example, to go with him to the cinema and I want to reply that I can't because I have to go to the doctor's, what should I say?

  1. I'm visiting a doctor

  2. I'm going to visit a doctor

  3. I will visit a doctor..

My question is when we should use

  • be going to
  • be + present continuous
  • Will ?

Which one is the most correct option in the provided context?

marked as duplicate by tchrist, Nicole, Mitch, ScotM, anongoodnurse May 5 '15 at 3:11

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  • 1
    Don't use will. (And use see, not visit.) The other two are fine. – Peter Shor May 3 '15 at 12:14
  • 1
    You could use "will" if you say I will be seeing a doctor [at that time]. – Brian Hitchcock May 3 '15 at 12:49
  • First, I will is almost always contracted to I'll in speech. What I would say in the context is what you said: "I can't because I have to go to the doctor's". That's the most natural in that context. Since you're talking about a future event (doctor visit) simultaneous with another future event (movie), you wouldn't use any of (1-3); they are for independent events. This is a place where the continuous can be handy. When the movie happens, you will be unavailable, so you can say I'll be seeing the doctor then or I'll be at the doctor's then. No need to be overprecise. – John Lawler May 3 '15 at 15:06

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