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I know that when we have fixed arrangements about a plan, we use present continuous.

Example: We are visiting X city next week. Would you like to join with us?

-> All things have been arranged. I already decided the time, bought flight tickets...

But when there are not fixed arrangements about a plan. We use be going to or future continuous instead. Right? So what is the difference between "be going to" and "future continuous" We only decided to visit X city but haven't made any arrangements.

(1) We are going to visit X city next week. Would you like to join with us?

(2)We will be visiting X city next week. Would you like to join with us?

Is that "be going to" is more certain to happen than the future continuous here?

*ADDITIONAL QUESTION:

Grammar books always say that:

Be going to usually indicates that . . . the event will take place soon, but that all the necessary arrangements have not yet been made.

The present progressive usually indicates that . . . arrangements are probably in place or have been made.

Do the listener knows if I have made arrangements (such as buying fly ticket, booking hotels...) or not when I use the sentence with be going to and present continuous?

Is my analysis below right?:

When I say sentence with present continuous, the listener think that I have bought fly ticket, booking hotel ...

When I say sentence with be going to, the listener think that I haven't bought fly tickets, booking hotels

1 Answer 1

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If you have made the travel arrangements you can use either the present continuous, future continuous or 'are going to'. So We're visiting X, We will be visiting X and We're going to visit X are all possible ways to say it.

If no firm arrangements have been made, you could say we hope to visit, we plan to visit or we are thinking of visiting X.

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  • If you have made the travel arrangements you can use either the present continuous, future continuous or 'are going to'.-> no difference at all between these 2 tenses?
    – LE123
    Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 14:54
  • Not that I can think of - see my edit. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 15:02
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    You can use going to if you have the definite intention of doing something, even if you haven't actually booked the tickets (or whatever). The alternatives I suggested were for less definite plans. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 17:27
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    (1) Yesterday I broke my glasses. I will be buying a new pair as soon as I can get to the optician's. (Will be buying doesn't sound quite right without another time marker.) (2) is OK, but better not to repeat tomorrow. Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 9:06
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    Yes, I would consider them as meaning the same. (NB It's better to ask "Are these pairs of sentences the same?" than to make a statement and add "Right?".) Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 13:38

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