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Is natural and common to use "will" for official arrangements and scheduled events? For example:

The meeting will start at 9 o'clock.

My vacation will start on December 21st.

The bus will leave at 8 o'clock.

Would the meaning of the sentences change somehow if will be replaced with the simple present? For example:

The meeting starts at 9 o'clock.

My vacation starts on December 21st.

The bus leaves at 8 o'clock.

If the meaning of the sentences don't change at all, then which is more common?

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    will is indeed formal there.
    – Lambie
    Dec 21, 2019 at 18:40
  • If you want to be super-duper-formal you can replace 'will' with 'shall'.
    – SF.
    Jul 8, 2022 at 10:00
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    No. formal language would use "will" in these cases. "Shall" represents a volitional promise (or an error)
    – James K
    Nov 7, 2022 at 18:09
  • @JamesK How does the formality level of "[X] is to [Y] at [z]" compare with the simple future version with "will"? I'm not actually positive about this, but if I were trying to be "super-duper-formal" (credit to SF. for the phrase :D) I would use this 'infinitive-stands-in-for-the-future-tense' version. "The meeting is to start at 9 o'clock." Jul 14, 2023 at 3:08

1 Answer 1

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It is natural and common to use "will" in these situations.

Using simple present adds a nuance of inevitability.

The meeting starts at 9:00 (Even if you are not there, so don't be late, we won't wait for you!)

The "will" form is probably more common (though I don't have any data to hand)

You don't tend to use the simple present for future events that you can control. This is related to the other sense of "will"=determination or desire.

I'll wake you up at 7 am tomorrow

(?) I wake you up at 7 am tomorrow

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    James K, the present continuous works for this, right? "I am waking you up at 7 am tomorrow."
    – AIQ
    Dec 22, 2019 at 0:03
  • I'm Russian and we're taught in school to use present simple for schedule actions which are, as you said, inevitable (for example, lessons start at 8 am). But can I say with our example "meeting will start at 9:00". Would it be a minor grammar or logical mistake or it's OK to say that?
    – JustLearn
    Oct 5, 2020 at 8:41
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    @AIQ yes, it does
    – JustLearn
    Oct 5, 2020 at 8:41
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    Just like my answer says "It is natural and common to use "will" in these situations." ie "It is natural and common to use "will" to say "the meeting will start at 9:00""
    – James K
    Oct 5, 2020 at 20:40

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