Janet is going on a vacation.

I saw this sentence on internet. Is Janet now, at this moment, going on a vacation? Or, does Janet have a plan to go on a vacation very soon?

  • What's the rest of the context? It might be clear from the context which is meant. Or is your question about whether that sentence is ambiguous?
    – gotube
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 17:41
  • I CV'd for lack of research, but now I think that considering it a duplicate might be a better reason. For example: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/27431/… Commented May 17, 2023 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


This is the present continuous/progressive construction. It can refer to either present or future time.

You can't tell from the words alone. From general knowledge of how people talk, it probably refers to future time, but there is no time phrase like "tomorrow" to confirm this.

If she were actually on a journey she'd say something like "I'm on the plane". The meaning of "go on holiday" is somewhat idiomatic in the sense of "go". It doesn't really mean "go from A to B" in that expression.

Generally, the present continuous can refer to actions currently in progress, or in the future:

I'm playing tennis right now.

I'm playing tennis tomorrow morning.

  • 1
    A minor clarification I would suggest: it refers to future plans, not just anything in the future. For example, I might say, "I'm going to Stockholm tomorrow", but never "It's raining tomorrow."
    – stangdon
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 3:46

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