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In the morning, my wife asked me " Will you be late tonight?". So I answered, "I am going to be late tonight."

If she asked me " Are you late tonight?", is that question right ?

Either gramatically or semantically, does that question sound natural ?

Is there any of native speakers who can explain the difference between these two?

I'd really appreciate it if someone would do that.

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The correct phrase is:

Will you be late tonight?

One is not "late" until a certain time has passed, so it is incorrect to ask if someone is late in the present tense when speaking about a later time (tonight).

You could ask:

Are you going to be late tonight?

Using "to be" as an auxiliary verb allows for the different tense.

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