I used to think Will was used for future and Present Progressive for ongoing actions but recently I came across a site(forgot to save the link) which states that present progressive can be used for describing action taking place in upcoming time.

For example- I will go to market to buy groceries tomorrow.

I am going to market to buy groceries tomorrow.

My questions is: Is there any difference in meaning among these two?

and if there is then what is it?

3 Answers 3


I will go and I'm going are different as you have mentioned.

And in your example you have used tomorrow which points future, so you are describing an action in present tense( present continuous) on a future time - so the meaning is the same.

But you should not use continuous tense form for an action/situation unless there is one more action/situation that occurs during that time.

When I am going to market to buy groceries tomorrow, I will stop by your place.

Here you put that continuous action in the background and talk about other event "stop by your place". Here it makes sense to use Continuous - not with just one action/situation.

We Asians, use continuous tense unnecessarily and someone corrected me a while back on this.


For your example sentences there is no difference.
You are saying that tomorrow you will get groceries.


Will vs going to vs present continuous.

Present continuous and also (going to + infinitive) is used to talk about planned actions for the future. Explanation is given below:

  1. Will

We use will to talk about spontaneous plans decided at the moment of speaking. Suppose your friend called you on Monday and informed you that they have planned a pot luck party on the weekend.

You reply, " I will bring fruit salad." (You decided at the time of speaking.)

  1. going to = We use going to to talk about plans decided before the moment of speaking. Now suppose a friend called you on Wednesday and asked, "What are you bringing for the party?"

You reply, "I am going to bring fruit salad." (As you have planned this on Monday)

  1. Present continuous We usually use the present continuous when the plan is an arrangement – already confirmed with at least one other person and we know the time and place.

Now when you are preparing the fruit salad on Saturday. You tell a friend, "I am bringing fruit salad for the party."


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