Could you please tell me which one of the following is correct and why:

  1. The song releases on (a specific date)
  2. The song is releasing on (a specific date)
  3. The song will be released on (a specific date)
  4. The song will be releasing on (a specific date)
  5. The song is to release on (a specific date)
  6. The song is to be released on (a specific date)

And in all the of above sentences the (a specific date) is in the future and is yet to come.

I personally think that the ones in passive form are the correct ones as it is the song that will be released and I think the ones in active somehow convey a sense that the song is going to release something which is wrong, but I am not at all sure.

Please correct me and help me get the right concept or rule or grammar. Thank you.

  • The usual active verb for a song is drop: "The song drops | is dropping | will drop on (a specific date). Dec 10, 2020 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


In standard English, only (3) is correct. That is the basic answer.

Also, (3) is the only one of your sentences which is in the passive.

You can also use the present simple passive:

  • The song is released on Dec 12.

or the present continuous passive:

  • The song is being released on Dec 12.

or the going to future (with contraction to sound more natural):

  • The song's going to be released on Dec 12.

There are other possibilities, especially in colloquial English.

One last point: (5) can be put into the passive to give:

  • The song is to be released on Dec 12.

This is also correct, although it is quite formal.

Edit: (6) is now acceptable, having been edited.

Note: There is a tendency for transitive verbs to gain intransitive uses, so that your (1) might nowadays be acceptable for some people. (This would also make (2), (4) and (5) correct.) It is not acceptable for me. Sometimes, this transitive-intransitive alternation is part of standard English (opinions may vary):

  • This wine drinks well
  • This guitar plays nicely
  • This essay reads well

But not for release.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. May I ask why "The song is released on Dec 12." and "The song is released on Dec 12" correct because these are in the present tense. And is this question correct: "When will the song release?"
    – Guri
    Dec 10, 2020 at 9:12
  • Question 1: These are just basic uses of present tenses to refer to the future. Don't be confused because they are passive. See your grammar book on ways to talk about the future. Question 2: No, this is wrong: see the Note in my answer.
    – legatrix
    Dec 10, 2020 at 9:21
  • Thank you so much @legatrix :)
    – Guri
    Dec 10, 2020 at 9:25
  • 1
    I would accept 6 (now it has been edited) as well.
    – Peter
    Dec 10, 2020 at 10:01
  • ah yes, thanks.
    – legatrix
    Dec 10, 2020 at 10:05

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