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I know that I should use Present Continuous if I decided AND arranged to do some things. But I'm not sure about that AND. I am wondering if just one of the conditions is enough. For example:

I am washing my car tomorrow evening.

And this action isn't arranged with anyone, because I live alone and I wash my car alone. In such a case, is the use of Present Continuous permitted?

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  • Yes, it’s fine. You’ve got it scheduled. – Xanne Jul 29 '20 at 4:35
  • @Xanne I'm not sure again, John B. said that events must have been arranged with another person, you said that it isn't necessary, that it is enough that they are planned in advance. The clear distinction between Present Continuous and "going to" remains unclear. – ProstoCoder Jul 29 '20 at 13:42
  • @Xanne I suppose the difference is in our determination to do something, but this is just an assumption. For example: "I'm doing my homework this evening." means that it's my fixed plan, while "I'm going to do my homework this evening" means that I intend to do my homework, but I cannot promise that. – ProstoCoder Jul 29 '20 at 14:13
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You can use the present progressive for future events, but they must have been arranged with another person.

A future arrangement is a plan that you have decided and organised with another person. [BBC]


Instead of using the present continuous, I would use "going to" or "will." I outline the sentences below (and when to use each one).

If I decide today to wash my car tomorrow (but do not arrange it), I could write:

I am going to wash my car tomorrow.

OR

I will wash my car tomorrow.

In the first sentence, "going to" implies that you decided to wash your car before writing/saying the sentence; "will" in the second sentence implies that you came up with the idea to wash your car while writing/saying it.

For example:

I am thirsty, so I'll [I will] get a water bottle.

vs.

I am going to work out at 4 p.m.

In the first sentence, you are thirsty and immediately decide to get water, so "will" is appropriate. In the second, you have planned your workout, so "going to" is appropriate.

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  • Thanks a lot for the great answer! – ProstoCoder Jul 29 '20 at 1:30
  • @ProstoCoder I'm glad I could help! – user392938 Jul 29 '20 at 1:40

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