I've read that you can use present continuous for future intention (with or without arrangement) with verbs of movement (fly, drive, go, leave, come, arrive, etc), the verbs stay and remain, and the verbs do and have (food or drink).

But now I'd like to hear from native speakers themselves. Do you normally use present continuous instead of going to with those verbs, or both, or you do you use them indifferently? Eg:

I'm arriving/going to arrive tomorrow.
Are you coming/going to come this evening?
I'm staying in/going to stay in tonight.
I'm leaving/ going to leave soon.
What are you doing/going to do tomorrow?
tarirotari Do you normally use present continuous instead of going to with those verbs, or both, or you do you use them indifferently?
I normally use the present continuous, but sometimes I use going to. In my mind, the going to phrasing puts more distance (both temporal and psychological) between me and the action I'm about to undertake. For example, to my ear, supposing I'm leaving a party, a meeting, or a gathering of some kind,

I'm leaving

doesn't even require soon. It's as if I'm already in the process of leaving by the time I say it, and I very well may be.

I'm leaving soon

makes it seem like I'm leaving later than if I say I'm leaving.

I'm leaving tomorrow

is even more distant in time than the previous statement, but still gives me the feeling that the leaving is imminent in some sense. There's nothing that can stop me. My decision is made, and is more or less inalterable. I'm leaving tomorrow, "come hell or high water", as the saying goes.

I'm going to leave tomorrow

signals more detachment, in my opinion. More "breathing room". It's my plan, true, but plans can change. Tomorrow will come in due course, and that's when I'll leave, provided nothing happens to prevent me.


I`m not English, but I wanted to chime in because I find it a really good question. The only rather subtle difference I can spot between them is that when you say "I`m going to arrive tomorrow" you have planned for this for some time now and/ or you have some evidence supporting this fact, like plane tickets for example. When, on the other hand, you use the progressive it sounds more close to the present time ( although this is not a real difference between your sentences since you used time adverbials describing near present actions in all ), and you may or may not have planned to do so in advance.
Waiting for someone here to shed some light on this Emotion: smile
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Thanks Skuld,

Let's see if we can find natives willing to pitch in.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you very much, CalifJim,

It's interesting always interesting how language works in the mind of a native speaker.
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