1

(1st speaker) Can we meet at 7 o'clock tomorrow evening?
(2nd speaker) Not in the evening.

How does 2nd speaker continue?

  1. I'll be having dinner then.
  2. I am having dinner then.
  3. I have dinner then.
0
  1. I'll be having dinner then.
  2. I am having dinner then.
  3. I have dinner then.

The first two are correct and common. They are somewhat colloquial (especially the second) and sound like very natural English. If you wanted to be more formal, you might say something like, "My apologies, but I have a prior engagement for dinner." However, the first speaker's usages make it clear that this is a casual exchange.

"I have dinner" can only refer to possession of dinner rather than eating it, although you can use other tenses (e.g. "I will have dinner" "I would have had dinner" or "I had dinner") to refer to eating.

  • I have to mark you down just for the statement that #3 is ungrammatical. It's perfectly grammatical to say "I have dinner then", it just refers to a routine or recurring event, like I have dinner every night at 7:15. – stangdon Feb 11 '17 at 17:49
  • @stangdon fixed – Sorcha NicEalair Feb 11 '17 at 20:10
2

All three responses are common. #1 is best grammatically though, using a future tense to describe a future event.

  • 1
    It's perfectly valid to use the present continuous for future events. #2 is just as correct as #1. – LMS Feb 11 '17 at 16:14

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