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Dear teachers,

What’s the difference between:
a) The boys start school on Monday. / I leave tonight.
b) The boys are starting school on Monday. / I am leaving tonight.

= a) the decision is not necessarily taken by the subject (?)
b) the decision is definitely taken by the subject (?)

Thank you for your help.
Hela
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What’s the difference between:
a) The boys start school on Monday. / I leave tonight.
b) The boys are starting school on Monday. / I am leaving tonight.

= a) the decision is not necessarily taken by the subject (?)
b) the decision is definitely taken by the subject (?)

Hi again Hela,

There's not a great deal of difference. They are just two of the many ways we ENLs have to discuss future events.

The present simple is sometimes used to be more official and/or serious.

Army sargeant: Okay, listen up. We report to the field office at 0600 hours, then we ship out at 0700. We land in Iraq at 13:45 and receive our new instructions then.

For the situation you describe, and asked about,

= a) the decision is not necessarily taken by the subject (?)
b) the decision is definitely taken by the subject (?)

I do not see your ideas reflected in the language, though I won't completely dismiss them out of hand. In there is, may be, a slight shift to the scheduled aspect of this.

In , we see one of the most common future form uses for near future decided plans. This is a more natural casual, neutral form.

I'm playing tennis on Friday.

She's having a baby soon.

Comments  
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Thank you JTT for your reply, I see now the difference.

Here are two other sentences about the future. Would you please tell me if a) is correct and in what circumstance / context can b) occur ?

a) You Will pick up your exams after I have finished grading them.

b) He will have been talked into leading the team by that time.

Thank you very much indeed for your help.
Kind regards,
hela
Thank you JTT for your reply, I see now the difference.

JT: You're welcome and I'm glad you got it, Hela!

Here are two other sentences about the future. Would you please tell me if a) is correct and in what circumstance / context can b) occur ?

a) You Will pick up your exams after I have finished grading them.

JT: Is there some special meaning to the capital W used? Do you mean to suggest a stressed ?

b) He will have been talked into leading the team by that time.

The speaker is predicting that someone will try to convince 'he' of something so that, by some time in the future, when that time arrives, 'he' will agree to lead the team.
Another example that might help:

By the time I get to school tomorrow, Hela will have read and replied to this, my last posting.

I would use this if I knew where you lived, how often you come here to this site, etc, in other words, this would be an expression of high certainty.

If I were less sure,

By the time I get to school tomorrow, Hela PROBABLY will have read and replied to this, my last posting.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

It's been a long day and my mind is boggled. The following leave me a bit perplexed.

Why does this one, expressing even less certainty, sound strange? Or does it?

By the time I get to school tomorrow, Hela MAY have read and replied to this, my last posting.

And this one, which should/could?? express even less certainty, is it okay?

By the time I get to school tomorrow, Hela MIGHT have read and replied to this, my last posting.

My brain hurts !!!! Good whatever time of day it is to you all.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?