Which version is idiomatic? If more than one version is idiomatic, explain the difference please. I've tried to explain why each sentence can/can't be used. I need a native speaker's view on that.

He is in hospital. He will have an operation tomorrow. <--- Can't Future Simple be used here because the man has the arrangement with hospital about that operation?

He is in hospital. He's going to have an operation tomorrow. (NGram) <--- Present Continuous because of the arrangement with hospital

He is in hospital. He has an operation tomorrow. <--- Present Simple because of timetable on that operation

  • "He has an operation tomorrow" sounds like you're talking about an appointment I feel, but "he's going to have an operation tomorrow" sounds like you have a more personal connection I guess? The last version you listed feels sort of detached, I guess. That's my take
    – Riolku
    Feb 18, 2022 at 6:06
  • By idiomatic, I assume you mean "sounds natural" and not if there is an idiom here.
    – mjjf
    Feb 18, 2022 at 6:16
  • All three sound fine to me, although the sentences could be joined more smoothly. I suspect that some people might not like the third example because the present tense is used differently in each sentence; in the first, it is describing a present event, but in the second, it is describing a future event. That doesn't really bother me, though. Feb 18, 2022 at 6:50
  • 1
    All are possible; I find the second the most idiomatic. "He has an operation tomorrow" would more likely be said of the surgeon than the patient. Feb 18, 2022 at 8:59


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