Newsletter 031

  • What have I done so far? What did I do yesterday?
  • Do I have any impediments and what am I working on at this moment?
  • What am I going to do today?
  • the level of certainty; and
  • the level of planning.

How certain am I about a future event?

This is the first question we need to ask ourselves before choosing the appropriate future tense that will depict our thinking and the future event in a proper way.

  • If we don’t have any proof or evidence or knowledge related to a future event, we need to use WILL.
  • If we have some proof or evidence or knowledge related to a future event, we need to use BE GOING TO.
  • I think that the government will allow us to play football next week. (no evidence, no news about it, just a feeling/opinion about the topic)
  • I think that the government is going to allow us to play football next week. (there was some news or evidence about this topic, it’s not just a feeling)

Have I made a plan for a future event?

This question helps us understand the origin of talking about a future event and we can roughly divide all future events into four groups:

  • WILL — We made a decision/plan about an event now or during a meeting.

    Nina: Alright, shall* we start? Krle, what are your plans for today?
    Krle: Well, let me see… Today, I will only continue with the work that I have already started, nothing new.
  • BE GOING TO — We knew about an event before a meeting or before talking about it (we already made a decision).

    Nina: OK. Sara, what about you?
    Sara: Well, I am going to finish working on the item I started two days ago, and then I am going to start with a new one that I chose yesterday.
  • PRESENT CONTINUOUS — We scheduled an event in our calendar or made an official agreement with someone.

    Nina: Great! And you, Dušan?
    Dušan: I am having a meeting with Pana today. Some issues occurred yesterday so we agreed to arrange a meeting today and try to resolve them.
  • PRESENT SIMPLE — We scheduled a recurring event that has already happened in the past and that will continue to regularly happen in the future.

    Nina: OK, please update me when you finish the meeting. Pana, any other plans for today on your end?
    Pana: Well, besides the meeting with Dušan, I have a regular TL meeting after our daily meeting, and then I am going to take my kids to school so I am not going to be online for an hour or so. After that, I will probably continue working on the same feature as yesterday.
    Nina: Shall I cover you while you are away?
    Pana: That would be great, thanks!
  • SHALL* is used only to ask questions and to offer something.
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