English as a Second Language/Use of 'will'

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QUESTION: Hi again, Amy.

I read the followings from some grammar books as follows:

1) We use the present continuous to say what you have already arranged to do. Do not use "will" to talk about what you have already arranged to do. (English Grammar in Use-Cambridge).

My question: Do the above apply to both Spoken and written English?

2) 9.37.2 'Will' in formal style for scheduled events

'Will' is used in preference to be going to [9.44] when a formal style,is required, particularly in the written language:

e.g The wedding will take place at St Andrew's on June 27th.
 (Longman English Grammar-L.G. Alexander)

3.The present continuous can have a very similar meaning to be going to. (Oxford Practice Grammar-J. Eastwood)
____________________________________________________________

In addition to the above question, I have other questions as follows:

1) Is it natural to say "The wedding is taking place at St Andrew's on June 27th,2013 in written English?

2) Do we use present continuous to talk about the future in written English? For example "I am seeing my friend in US next month" (A letter to my sister)

I take this opportunity to thank for your past help.

Best Regards,
CH

ANSWER: Hi CH,

Thank you for your kind words.

Let's see what is it I can help you with today.

"We use the present continuous to say what you have already arranged to do. Do not use "will" to talk about what you have already arranged to do." (English Grammar in Use-Cambridge).

My question: Do the above apply to both Spoken and written English? Yes, but I am not 100% comfortable with the rule you have quoted. (It may be a British English vs American English thing?!)

Is it natural to say
"The wedding is taking place at St Andrew's on June 27th,2013" in written English? Yes, but it's also OK to say
The wedding will take place at St. Andrew's on June 27th, 2013" (I actually prefer this form to the previous one).

Also:

I am seeing my friend in the US next month.
or
I will see my friend in the US next month. (This is how I would say/write this).

I hope this helps, but please feel free to follow up if you still have questions about this topic.

Looking forward to more of your questions.

Best regards,



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Again, Amy.

Thanks a lot for your kind reply.

You said you were not 100% comfortable with the rule I had quoted. Do you mean that American English does not use present continous tense to talk about the future? If yes, does American English use "will" and "going to" to talk about the future as shown on the following website?

http://www.learnamericanenglishonline.com/Red%20Level/R11%20Future%20Tense%20wil

Best Regards,
CH

Answer
Hi CH,

to clarify my initial answer. I said I am not comfortable with the rule you have quoted because not only do I (we) use "will" to talk about things that I (we) have already arranged to do, but I believe this is actually the norm in such situations. The rule you have quoted suggests this "approach" to be incorrect.

Take the examples I gave you:

The wedding WILL take place...

I WILL see my friend...

Also, we say:

The wedding IS GOING TO take place...

I AM GOING TO see my friend...

This is not to say that expressions like:

The wedding IS taking place...

or

I AM seeing my friend....

are wrong or not used in everyday English.

Also, what I said about AmE vs BrE is a pure personal speculation, not necessarily a rule.

I hope this clarifies my previous answer.

Best regards,

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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