Reply to "Time clauses"

ahmed_btm posted:
In a previous thread, you asked a similar question: [. . .]

I replied: In formal exams the expected answer is to use 'will'.

You asked: Why not 'is travelling'?

Hello, Ahmed and Ahmed,

There is no question of one not being formally correct or not as formally correct as the other. In each question, the present progressive is no less acceptable than the future simple. Both are perfectly correct and each answer ought to be deemed correct in your formal examinations.

If your Ministry of Education thinks otherwise, it should have a native speaker edit the test. Please have a representative of the Egyptian Ministry of Education make a post in this thread. I shall teach him or her about how the English language is used in these contexts. All these sentences are 100% correct:

  • When he finishes his exams, he is traveling to London.
  • He is traveling to London when he finishes his exams.

 

  • When I finish my exams, I am traveling to New York.
  • I am traveling to New York when I finish my exams.

 

  • When he finishes his exams, he will travel to London.
  • He will travel to London when he finishes his exams.

 

  • When I finish my exams, I will travel to New York.
  • I will travel to New York when I finish my exams.

The difference between them is that the present progressive represents the future action as a present plan or intention, whereas the future simple represents the future action as merely predicted. The more natural choice is the present progressive. It is preposterous that MiniEd should consider it incorrect.

Here is a context in which the future simple would be much better:

  • When he finishes his exams, he will receive a certificate.
  • He will receive a certificate when he finishes his exams.

In that example, the present plan or intention of "him" is irrelevant. The sentence is simply stating that the one thing will occur after the other. This type of case is much different from the two cases you have asked about, Ahmed A.  In your examples, the present progressive is quite natural and is perfectly correct.

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