Diary future

From Teflpedia

The diary future (/ˈdaɪəri ˈfju:tjə(r)/) is a way of talking about definite future arrangements in English by using the present progressive. For example:

  • We’re seeing a movie this evening.

Meaning[edit | edit source]

Typically, it is necessary that future time be understood either (1) from context or (2) by inclusion of a time adverbial to demonstrate that the activity is not happening now (the progressive now), but will happen in the future.

The activity is usually not very far into the future, so there’s a connection between the present time and the activity.

Form[edit | edit source]

If the verb used may be go, producing for example:

  • We’re going this evening.

With a prepositional phrase:

  • We’re going to the movies this evening.

This can be easily confused with going to + verb. However, if the diary future uses go, it is not followed by a verb but by a prepositional phrase. The equivalent going to form being "We’re going to go to the movies this evening".

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

EFL learners are introduced to this meaning after they are familiar with the progressive now (present progressive for present actions), and after they have learnt going to.

CCQs[edit | edit source]

  • Is this past time, present time or future time? (Future time)
  • Is this happening now? (No).
  • If we remove the time phrase, does this change the meaning? (Yes)