which one is correct?

As soon as we get the files (or messages), we will send them to you by email.


As soon as we get the files (or messages), we are sending them to you by email.

I have learned that we use the present progressive to express future when we have a prior plan before speaking, and we use will in cases that we are deciding something spontaneously, but the second sentence doesn't make any sense to me even though it seems like they have planned to send the files before speaking.

  • 1
    Fixing the point in time ("as soon as we get the files") undermines the coherency of the future statement using present progressive. Not that it couldn't be uttered that way, and it would certainly be understood, but it sounds a bit off, to my ear anyway.
    – Robusto
    Dec 13, 2017 at 14:54
  • Yes, it sounds weird because it is my own paraphrasing of the statement, I think it was "messages" or something like that instead of "files", so sorry for the inconvenience. Dec 13, 2017 at 14:56
  • This is a really good question. The present progressive in your example sentence sounds extremely unnatural to this US English speaker, but it's making me think a lot about exactly why it sounds unnatural.
    – stangdon
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:00
  • So which sentence do you think is more grammatical? Dec 13, 2017 at 17:25
  • The first one ("we will send") is much more grammatical.
    – stangdon
    Dec 14, 2017 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


The first phrase:

As soon as we get the files (or messages), we will send them to you by email.

is the correct one. This is because will send implies that you are going to send the files. Where as are sending implies that you are currently in the process of sending the files which in this case cannot be correct because of the conditional phrase at the beginning of the sentence:

As soon as we get the files (or messages),

This phrase means that whatever comes after it is dependent on the condition being met.

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