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Dear teachers,

What’s the difference between the present progressive and Be going to ? Which one do you prefer in the following sentences ?

1) The plan is that oil producers should meet tomorrow to discuss oil prices. =
Oil producers a) ARE MEETING / b) ARE GOING TO MEET tomorrow …

2) I have arranged to take a week’s holiday starting next Monday. =

I AM TAKING a week’s holiday starting next Monday.

3) Do you intend to visit the exhibition before it closes ? =

a) ARE you VISITING / b) ARE you GOING TO VISIT the exhibition …

4) I can’t see you this evening because I plan to go out. =
a) I’M not SEEING / b) I’M not GOING TO SEE you this evening …

5) Some friends of ours have arranged to come to stay with us. We have agreed to meet them at the airport this evening. =

Some friends of ours a) ARE STAYING / b) ARE GOING TO COME to stay with us. We c) ARE MEETING / d) ARE GOING TO meet them at the airport this evening.

6) You needn’t have told him, because I had arranged to see him myself later in the week. =
You needn’t have told him, because I WAS GOING TO see him myself later in the week.

7) The Prime Minister said arrangements had been made for him to hold a press conference the following day. =

The Prime Minister said that he WAS GOING TO hold a press conference the following day.

8) Thanks for coming over to see us! How do you plan to get back to your hotel ? =

Thanks for coming over to see us! How a) ARE you GETTING / b) ARE you GOING TO get back to your hotel ?

9) The chairman of the bank said that they planned to open three new branches in the town the following month. =

The chairman of the bank said that WERE GOING TO open three new branches in the town the following month.

10) The plan is that the theatre company take the show on tour after its initial run in London. =

The theatre company IS TAKING the show on tour after its initial run in London.

Thank you very much indeed for your help.
Hela
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There is no substantial difference in intent between the two forms in ANY of your sentences, Hela.

The 'be going to' future suggests a plan by the speaker or some present external evidence for the future event. The 'is doing' future suggests an arrangement which has been made before now, and usually for the not-too-distant future. As you can see, these ideas frequently overlap.

Where the latter does not work is where no arrangement could have been made, as in X'it's snowing tomorrow in the afternoon'-- not possible, though 'it's going to snow tomorrow afternoon' is perfectly so.
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Dear teachers,

I am trying to concoct (can I say that ?) an exercise. Would you please tell me if my indications and answers are correct or not?

1/ Question: Your friend is having difficulty with her homework. Offer to explain it to her. =
Answer: SHALL I HELP you with your homework ?

2/ You are always tired. Tell a friend what you plan to do about it. =
I’M GOING TO take some days off. I’M always FEELING tired these days. (Any better idea ?)

3/ Someone asks your age in your next birthday. (Is this sentence correct ?) =
How old WILL you BE on your next birthday ? (???)

4/ A friend wants to know the departure time and the time of arrival of the next train to London. (correct sentence ?) =
When DOES the next train to London LEAVE and when DOES it ARRIVE ?
(Would you have a better question for a better answer ?)

5/ It has been raining all day. Suddenly the temperature drops to below a freezing point. Make a prediction. =
It HAS BEEN RAINING all day; the temperature IS most probably GOING TO drop to below a freezing point.

Thank you for your dedication and help.
Best regards,
Hela
'Concoct' is an apt choice, Hela.

1) Or: CAN I /COULD I

2) Or: I ALWAYS FEEL (although the 'these days' would tend to attract 'have felt/been feeling)

3) 'at/on' your next birthday. Or: ARE YOU GOING TO BE on your.. or ARE YOU on your...

4) 'departure and arrival times' would be more succinct. Or: When IS the next train LEAVING for London and when DOES it ARRIVE?

5) 'to below the freezing point / to below freezing'. Or: WILL drop.
Thank you very much Mr Micawber!

Best regards.
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