My friend and colleague doesn't have a car but he often uses his dad's car; so when he drives to work he most frequently picks me up and we go together.

Last night he texted me and said: "I don't have the car tomorrow so I can't pick you up. See you at work."

I believe something is wrong with the first sentence and wonder what a native speaker of English says to mean "I don't have the car tomorrow"?

  • 1
    There's nothing wrong with it as far as this native speaker is concerned. Consider "I don't have the time tomorrow".
    – user8543
    Mar 5 '15 at 15:14
  • 1
    I say that all the time. My husband and I share a car.
    – Catija
    Mar 5 '15 at 15:18
  • generally if a native speaker texts you something you don't understand, you should assume they did not make a mistake. nearly all native speakers have mastered conversational english.
    – user428517
    Mar 5 '15 at 18:21
  • @sgroves It is possible that the OP's friend is not a native English speaker. It could just be the language common between them.
    – Catija
    Mar 5 '15 at 21:27
  • wow, for some reason i thought OP mentioned his friend was a native speaker. my mistake.
    – user428517
    Mar 5 '15 at 22:05

I like user8543's analogy with "I don't have the time tomorrow". In this case you're seeing the present tense being used to talk about a schedule. Here's a slightly longer example which I hope provides some of the intuition for that usage.

My wife and I share a car. She has the car on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I have the car on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tomorrow is Wednesday, so I don't have the car.

You could also imagine a conversation like:

  • Q: I'm going to need the car tomorrow, is that OK?
  • A: Yes, you can have the car tomorrow.
  • The last part is pretty much the conversation we have every day.
    – Catija
    Mar 5 '15 at 21:29

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