As I was practicing the difference between present simple and present continuous, I came across this sentence:

The shop is closing for good next Monday.

I also encountered this sentence:

The festival finishes tomorrow.

My question is, since in both sentences we are refering to a future action as a program, why don't we use the same tense for both of them? I mean, is it grammatically incorrect to say "The shop closes for good next Monday"? Or why can't we use present continuous in "The festival finishes tomorrow"?

  • Both verb forms are fine. As a rule of thumb, you should prefer "simple present" (It ends tomorrow) simply because it's "simpler". But where the current status of the subject of the future action is contextually relevant, as in I'm working tomorrow, so I'm going to bed early, the continuous is more natural (nobody usually says things like I work tomorrow, so I go to bed early). Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


"The shop is closing for good" means: the owner has decided to close the shop soon. But it is not because of the usual opening/closing hours of the shop.

You can use Present Simple for planned future actions if you speak about something that has a predictable schedule.

"The festival finishes tomorrow" is a predictable event. As any festival has a starting and ending time, which is usually known in advance.

  • But the closing of the shop next Monday is also a predictable event (now that the preparations for the closing are under way).
    – jsw29
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 15:44
  • The closing of the shop next Monday is a predictable, but not a scheduled event. Commented May 14, 2022 at 18:09
  • The closing of the shop next Monday is a predictable, but not a scheduled event. "... for good" is an idiom that traditionally refers to dying and going to Heaven. (I got this interpretation by checking the idiom's usage on Reverso.Context, so it might be inaccurate after all, but anyway it may have some sense). So, the owner says that he's going to close the shop completely. This is a planned action, and for expressing that we can and should use Present Continuous tense. However, if we talk about a festival programme, or a train timetable, the proper tense is Present Simple. Commented May 14, 2022 at 18:18
  • Present Simple is used for future actions if these actions happen due to an artificial or a natural predictable schedule. The sun rises tomorrow because it rises every day. The train leaves at 10 because it always does so, or is supposed to. Commented May 14, 2022 at 18:24

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