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Imagine this scenario

I am on holydays in France, I have been staying at my penpal's house for one week and tomorrow I am leaving to go back home (USA).My mother is supposed to pick me up at the airport but she does not know exactly at what time I am going to arrive .I am about to phone her when my penpal asks "What are you doing ?"I answer "I will phone my mother because she does not know exactly when she is picking me up at the airport tomorrow"

Shall I say "when she picks me up " because it is schedulded time so may be present will be better and may be future "she will pick me up".I think present continuous or present are the best choice because it has been already planned. What do you think ?

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I agree - however "I will phone my mother" isn't the best answer to "What are you doing?", although it is possible. It would probably be better and more usual to say "I'm phoning my mother" or "I'm going to phone my mother"

  • Or, in AmE, "...calling my mother..." – Brian Hitchcock May 28 '15 at 9:14
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Continuous present tenses can be used to express future activities if a future time description is provided, i.e. "I'm eating at that restaurant this weekend."

Note that this does not apply to simple present tenses. "I eat at this restaurant this weekend" is wrong. "I will eat at this restaurant this weekend" is OK, though.

SO, you're using continuous tense correctly here:

I will phone my mother because she does not know exactly when she is picking me up at the airport tomorrow

Again, you can say when she is picking me up or when she will be picking me up. It's not important which you say since you state the time with the word "tomorrow" at the end of the sentence.

  • Do you think that people still say "to phone"? Or does it sound actually old? I always just heard "to call". – E.V. Oct 30 '15 at 18:05

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