Please consider:

Are they planning to fly to New York? Is it next week?

Why is that combination of present tense forms used to indicate a future event, first the continuous one and then the the simple one?

Why not the other way around? Or both simple or both continuous?

What special nuance does the continuous aspect lend to this special kind of future?

Why do we not use the continuous present in this sentence:

Little is it truth.

I know that in English, the progressive or continuous form of the present tense is used to focus along the action, but then we don’t use it in that other sentence.

Why not?

  • It sounds like an information communication; and I think both are fine. There is no rule that both sentences should be in the same tense division. There are 12 subdivision of tenses under the broad classes Present Tense, Past Tense and Future Tense and they offer a lot of flexibility.
    – Ram Pillai
    Dec 29, 2020 at 3:02

2 Answers 2


Are they planning to fly to New York? Is it next week?

This is a little sloppy, but it might occur in informal conversation. I guess "it" refers to their departure date.


Are they planning to fly to New York? Is their trip next week?


I guess this depends on whether you are asking these two sentences directly in a row. If you are asking them during a conversation, it is fine to ask both questions, with the second one being in response to something. However, to say them both at once, is weird. It makes more sense to eliminate "Is it", and to simply say, "Are they flying to New York? Next week?", if the speaker is using two sentences at once and no one else is talking in-between. You could also say, "Are they flying to New York? Are they flying there next week?" (do not use the extra "there" is the speaker is shocked or anxious, because of the tone of their speaking... what's in parenthesis, before the dots, might be gramatically incorrect, by the way).

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