This is an example in the Webster dictionary.

You are more than welcome to stay for dinner, but we aren't having anything special.

What's the difference between

We don't have anything special


We aren't having anything special ?

1 Answer 1


The present progressive is often used to describe future action when it is an upcoming activity. For example:

I'm excited that tonight is movie night. What are we watching?


I'm flying to Korea tomorrow. I'm staying in small hotels and visiting all of the major museums.


. . . we aren't having anything special.

refers to the upcoming dinner.

However, "We don't have anything special" refers only to the present time. It probably means that the hosts don't currently have any special food, implying that the meal will be quite normal.

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