Which is the best?

  1. Once you've paid, we will take an appointment with your sister.
  2. Once you've paid, we are taking an appointment with your sister.
  3. Once you've paid, we are going to take an appointment with your sister.

I think the first one and third are better because in sentence 2 we could understand that the present progressive expresses the present which is not the case.

  • 3
    If you're going to contract you've, it would usually be more natural to also contract we will to we'll. Note that you make (not take) an appointment. Other than that, your first version is natural, the second is syntactic garbage, and the third is "credible, but unlikely". Jul 27 '17 at 13:46
  • what do you mean by syntactic garbage?
    – user5577
    Jul 27 '17 at 17:15
  • 1
    You should always wait before accepting an answer. Please read our Not so fast! meta post. The first answer may not be the best, or even correct. Jul 27 '17 at 19:32
  • Is this an establishment talking to a client? I've never heard "take an appointment with". Usually, clients "make appointments with a service provider". If the business is taking action, I'd say "schedule an appointment for your sister". Jul 27 '17 at 22:39
  • 1
    @RamPillai: OP's example #3 here is syntactically perfectly valid, and could occur quite naturally in at least some contexts. There can sometimes be a nuance of difference between I will [verb] and I'm going to [verb], but I don't think that would normally be relevant in the context of a hypothetical / future scenario of the general form If / once / when X happens, Y will / is going to happen. May 22 '20 at 12:51

All three versions are grammatically valid..

Once you've paid, we will make an appointment with your sister.

There is no rule about the consistency in making contractions within a statement, or series of statements. I myself most likely would have structured the statement in this way.

Once you've paid, we are making an appointment with your sister.

This statement conveys a kind of authority, and is perfectly acceptable.

Once you've paid, we are going to make an appointment with your sister.

Basically the same as the other two, but a bit more wordy (and a bit less authoritative).

  • Sentence 2 is not remotely idiomatic in English! The present progressive is not used to express the future. This usage would only be heard in Indian "English". Jul 27 '17 at 19:29
  • ..So you're saying that "once you get dressed, we are leaving" is incorrect too?? Can you provide some literature that outlines this? Thanks.
    – user30379
    Jul 27 '17 at 19:38
  • No, that construction is fine. I ought to have written: "We would not use the present progressive as in the second example sentence." This is worthy of a question, and I encourage you to post it! Jul 27 '17 at 19:40
  • 1
    I think the "once" phrase is begging for some kind of explicit marking of the future tense. Jul 27 '17 at 23:01
  • So why is present progressive not possible in the second example?
    – user5577
    Jul 28 '17 at 6:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .