I wonder if the last sentence is grammatically correct. Swan says "Present tenses are often used instead of will + infinitive to refer to the future in subordinate clauses" Practical English Usage, Oxford University Press, 2005, Page 568) "

I auto correct (in my head) my husband when he's talking, lol. He says "supposeably" instead of "supposedly" and it drives me up a wall! I do my best and I try to reread everything before posting just so there aren't any mistakes. My husband also uses bad grammar when talking with the children, but I auto correct out loud with that because I don't want my children using bad grammar. Especially since my son goes to Kindergarten next year. Source is here

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    According to my experience, it is true (that the present tense can be used for future events), especially for events that are quite certain to happen soon. Dec 13, 2013 at 9:40
  • I could think of "my son is going to Kindergarten next year" but I want a confirmation regarding the simple tense use.
    – learner
    Dec 13, 2013 at 9:44
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    Try this (I just made this up). A woman might get up set with her boyfriend and say, "I'm sorry John. I leave tomorrow." I believe it's not rare to find such a conversation in movies, but I will be busy for an hour or so, so this is the best I can think of at the moment. Dec 13, 2013 at 9:49
  • @Damkerng, yes, that's a great example. It's a very dramatic way to say it, though. "I'm going to leave tomorrow" would be the less dramatic way to say it.
    – hunter
    Dec 13, 2013 at 14:03
  • Some people say there are only two tenses in English - past and non-past.
    – bdsl
    Sep 28, 2015 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


Just a remark, as I have heard non-native speakers get this wrong. We can, and indeed often do, use the present tense to describe the future. However, when we do this, it suggests that the event being described has already been planned.

For example,

"My son starts kindergarten next year." That makes sense, because he's 4 years old. When he's five, he will be in kindergarten.

On the other hand, "OK, we're out of time, I have to go, we finish this conversation tomorrow" is NOT grammatical. This is something non-native speakers say a lot, but that strikes me as wrong. You must say "we'll" here. Does this distinction make sense?


I have found this post that answers my question

Reference information: Present Simple for future time

Fixed decision The Present Simple is also used for a future action that the speaker considers as certain to take place in accordance with a firm decision or fixed timetable [...]

George leaves at six o’clock tomorrow.

In subordinate (dependent) clauses

The Present Simple is commonly used in certain types of adverbial clauses to express future meaning: • When/after/before/as/if/as soon as/once he arrives, the band will play the National Anthem. [...] The subordinators involved belong to the temporal, conditional and conditional-concessive categories. (Quirk et al, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_tense#Present_Simple_for_future_time

In the example 'Stephen goes to college next week' the term 'Stephen goes' is present tense. It is the context in this case - created by the phrase 'next week' - which tells us that we are being informed about the future. http://www.buzzin.net/english/tenses.htm

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