Hello,

What is the difference in the following sentences please :

a) We are having a grammar lesson next Friday.

b) We will be having a grammar lesson next Friday.

c) We will have a grammar lesson next Friday.

Also, are they all grammatically correct ?

Many thanks.
Ricky

Last edited {1}
Original Post
All of the sentences are grammatically correct. They have some subtle differences.

a) We are having a grammar lesson next Friday

The present continuous is used to indicate a future event that is already planned (but not on a schedule). The only restriction on the verbs that may be used is that the action must be under the control of someone. Thus it is not possible to say

*She's winning the lottery next month

b) We will be having a grammar lesson next Friday

The "will" + continuous construction is very common in informal English. It presents the future action "as a matter of course."

c) We will have a grammar lesson next Friday

The form with "will" + base form is formal in style. It is used for formal announcements, especially public announcements, such as

Flight 7844 will arrive at Gate B16

It is also used for predictions, as in

You'll feel better soon, I'm sure

"Will" + base form in the first person singular is not often used to indicate a simple future action because it can mean several other things. It can mean an offer (I'll get you a doctor), a promise (I'll never leave you), or a threat (I'll teach him a lesson he won't forget). It can be used safely to indicate the future with non-volitional verbs in the first person, however. It's OK to say

I'll get the lab results/know how much I owe for the repairs by next week

In addition to the three examples supplied by Ricky, we have the "going to" future:

d) We're going to have a grammar lesson next Friday

...and the simple present, as in

e) We have a grammar lesson next Friday

The simple present is used only for previously planned events that are on a set schedule.

Marilyn Martin
Just a reminder to our readers: the Archives of the Grammar Exchange contains topics previously addressed, and not currently on this board.

Further discussions about expressing future time appear in the Archives. One of the postings contains a passage from a presentation given by Marilyn Martin at a TESOL conference.

You can access the Archives by clicking on the drop-down menu under "Grammar Q & A" on the left hand side of this page.

Rachel

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