The site 'English Teacher Melanie' says:

The present simple can be used to talk about talk about scheduled future events. These are events that happen according to a schedule or timetable. They are usually scheduled by someone else and they are usually public events.

Tomorrow is Friday.

I fly to Paris next week.

The plane departs at 8 p.m.

The train to Ottawa leaves at 11:30 a.m.

When do you leave for NYC?

Her train arrives at 8:35 a.m. tomorrow morning.

What time does the movie start tonight?

What time do you finish work tomorrow?

What time does the store open tomorrow?

Final exams start next week.

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Monet exhibit closes on Sunday.

The sale ends next week.

They also say: Only the verbs below can be used in the simple present to talk about a future scheduled event:












However, other sites use other verbs in simple present tense for scheduled future events.


She has an appointment with the headmaster after school today. (source)

to have: does not in the above list

Bettina graduates on the 25th. I have no idea what she's going to do after that. (Source)

to graduate: does not in the above list

"I speak at the conference at 3:00 p.m."

to speak: does not in the above list

Ok, now, my son's school lunch is in a fixed timetable (it happens every weekday at 11:30 AM):

Can I say:

"My son eats his school lunch at 11:30 AM tomorrow". This sentence may sound strange, then should we change it to:

"My son's school lunch starts at 11:30 AM tomorrow". This sounds more common & it met the requirements (the verb "start" is in the list).

Another example, let say my husband's business trips are fixed in a timetable.

can I say:

"He goes on his business trip tomorrow"?

or should I change it to:

"His business trip starts tomorrow"?

Extra questions: we also use the present continuous tense to talk about future personal arrangements (Source)

Eg: I am leaving tomorrow. = I've already bought my train ticket.

Now, return to the previous business trip example. Let say he bought a flight ticket for his trip (ie, he arranged his trip), then can we also say:

"He is going on his business trip tomorrow"?

So, we can use many different tenses for the same action, depending on how we emphasize it right?

"He goes on his business trip tomorrow" (emphasize that he follows a schedule)

"He is going on his business trip tomorrow" (emphasize that he arranged / prepared for that specific trip.)

  • 8
    Ignore that website. It's wrong. Jul 22, 2017 at 1:14
  • 2
    Why are you confused? Your own research has shown that Melanie's website is incorrect. I would find a different website. Jul 22, 2017 at 1:20
  • 1
    "My son eats his school lunch at 11:30 AM tomorrow" does indeed sound strange. I think this is because it's a daily event, and I can't imagine a context in which you would say this. If you were discussing plans for tomorrow, you might say something like "School lunch starts at 11.30, so my son should have finished eating by 12.00." Jul 22, 2017 at 8:10
  • I think "has an appointment" does not fit with with the other examples that you have given.
    – Casey
    Dec 4, 2021 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


Almost any action verb can be used in the present tense for a scheduled future event.

The ship sails tomorrow for London.
We race tomorrow at 5 pm.
We meet tomorrow at noon.

There are some verbs where it is very improbable for there to be a scheduled future event.

The ship sinks tomorrow at 3pm.

But if the ship was scheduled to sink, the sentence would be grammatical.

  • 1
    Or perhaps a very determined statement about the future - e.g. a navy commander, determined to deal with the enemy, might well say "that ship sinks at our next encounter!". "He arrives at 3.00pm or the deal's off".
    – WS2
    Jul 22, 2017 at 6:34
  • 1
    Let's face it, "My son eats his school lunch at 11:30 AM tomorrow" sounds improbable, probably because starting lunch is less programmed/defined timewise than the start of the school lunch hour. He could take a newly available pre-lunch computer course, for instance. Aug 14 at 10:37

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