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|Tenses > Future – the present continuous vs be going to plus infinitive|
1. The use of be going + infinitive and the present continuous tense to speak about the future is similar. We use them to say what we have already planned, decided or arranged to do:
- What are you doing tonight? (= What are your plans?)
- I am going to stay at home. or I am staying at home.
2. The present continuous is more natural for personal arrangement:
- Jason and John are playing tennis on Saturday morning.
- We are having a housewarming party next week.
3. Be going to + infinitive is used to talk about our intentions:
- Tim is going to study English in a language school in London this year.
4. Be going to + infinitive is used to speak about the future when we have already got some evidence that something is certain or likely to happen:
- John feels terrible. He is going to be sick.
- There are many black clouds. It is going to rain soon.