I have exercise to create sentences in Present Continuous but in one of them is. " The sales is starting on Monday". My question is about time used here, in my opinion this will happens only in future " On Monday" But the tense is Present so i'm little lost. What is different(in the meaning on structure) between this and Future Continuous like " The sales will be starting in Monday"

  • This has been dealt with earlier.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 7:04

2 Answers 2


We can use present verb forms to indicate that something is planned, scheduled or timetabled to happen in the future.

The simple present is used to make statements about events at a time later than now, when the statements are based on present facts, and when these facts are something fixed like a time-table, schedule, calendar.

My plane leaves at 18.00 tomorrow.

Simple present for future events

The present continuous is used to talk about arrangements for events at a time later than now. There is a suggestion that more than one person is aware of the event, and that some preparation has already happened.

The sales are starting next Monday = The sales have been arranged and the stores have been or are being prepared.

Present Continuous for future arrangements

  • Thank you for answer. That is exactly what I was looking for
    – Bestils
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:14
  • i didn't understand "are something fixed like" what does fixed, i only know fixed as repair. If i'm not wrong, that mean something like set,permanent
    – Bestils
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:16
  • Fixed 2 (especially of a price, rate, or time) predetermined and not able to be changed: ‘loans are provided for a fixed period’. en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fixed Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:19

The present continuous tense is often used with a future meaning. This tense form is used to talk about things that have already been decided or plans that have already been made.

Generally speaking, the present continuous tense is used to talk about our social or work plans. It is normally used with a future time reference.

What are you doing this weekend ? I am fixing the roof.

The future continuous tense is used to suggest that a future event will be in progress over a limited period of time in the future.

I will be spending one or two weeks in France.

Here the auxiliary ‘will’ indicates future whereas the continuous verb ‘be spending’ indicates continuity.

Use this tense form to suggest that an activity will be happening at a certain time in the future, and that this activity will last for a limited period of time.

  • Which shows how nonsensical it is to refer to form with "will" as "the future tense".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 21:00
  • I am not so sure about this, Colin. If I say that I will be spending one or two weeks in France, I am simply stating a fact that will take place in the future whereas if I say that I am fixing the roof, I express my present intention.
    – Aluna
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 21:21
  • Sorry, @Aluna, I don't agree. I will nearly always expresses an intention.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 21:47
  • 2
    English doesn't really have a future tense. We need to make up a kind of future tense with auxiliary verbs like "will", but it's not really a future tense. Sometimes we don't even bother and stick with a present tense, with a similar understanding that it relates to something in the future.
    – ralph.m
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 22:11
  • @Colin Yes..."nearly" always, therefore referring to form with "will" as "the future tense" may not be so nonsensical merriam-webster.com/dictionary/will cnycentral.com/news/local/…
    – Aluna
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 22:26

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