Someone said to me, "Adrian is dating Michelle"

But actually what he meant was that they were going to have the first date in the near future. Can I state that I am dating someone if we never did it before, just because its a sure thing to happen?

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    No, I don't think you should say that if you don't want to be misinterpreted. "Adrian and Michelle are going on a date" or "Adrian is going on a date with Michelle" would be less ambiguous. – Yay Feb 15 '16 at 12:29
  • Your first sentence("If someone tells me") seems to be incomplete. Please edit and complete the sentence to give clearer picture. – BiscuitBoy Feb 15 '16 at 12:48
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    Of course, technically Adrian may be performing a carbon 14 age test on Michelle. – Hot Licks Feb 15 '16 at 14:18
  • Well either "dating" refers to the exact present action or the state of the relationship. Unless you mean they are actively engaged in a date then the only remaining meaning is the state of a relationship which makes dating an adjective rather than a verb. Ie a dating relationship. That makes the use here fine as the relationship does not start at the first date but rather the initial agreement to date. – Anton Feb 15 '16 at 15:27

If you say x and y are "dating," you are using the present progressive without qualification. This would imply they have a dating relationship now. If you say they are "dating this weekend," the qualifier suggests they have an impending date this weekend.


I would take this to mean that Adrian and Michelle are engaged in the kind of relationship that includes going on dates. Whether or not they have actually gone on an actual date at the time of utterance seems largely irrelevant to me.

So two people may have mutually agreed to be dating each other, and await their first date this coming Saturday night- I would still say they are "dating".

It is one of those slippery verbs that can mean several closely related things at the same time.

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