You've made my day, Five. I replied 'I'd use more than one', with a feeling that 'I will see' wasn't very natural.I have just come across this poll. The thread, Appointments , started in 2003, but still getsthe occasional response. As I write this, 1,338 people have voted – I have added the figures for the percentage of the vote that went to each option.
If you have an appointment, which sentence do you use?
I will see the dentist tomorrow at 3. – 23.54%
I am going to see the dentist tomorrow at 3. – 46.49%
I am seeing the dentist tomorrow at 3. – 11.36%
I see the dentist tomorrow at 3. – 2.84%
I'd use more than one. - 15.77%
One native speaker wrote, “I can't vote, because I don't use any of them. (I'd say, "I have an appointment tomorrow for 3 o'clock.")
That speaker later wrote, “What is important here is to know what is not used ("I see the dentist tomorrow"). All the rest are acceptable.”
Another, non-native, write “I gonna see…”
Three people asked what the ‘correct’ answer is.
I am starting this new thread because learners often want to know the ‘correct’ or ‘the best’ form in particular contexts, and there are often exercises in books in which the learner has to choose the correct/best/most appropriate form.
My own view is that such exercises usually provide far too little context to state with any certainty that one form is more likely to be used by native speakers than all others. My answer to this poll would be that the second, third and fourth are all quite likely answers. In the brief context of ‘If you have an appointment…’, I don’t think that many native speakers would say ‘I will see …’. I think it’s likely that nearly a quarter of the respondents chose this because, as non-native speakers, they believed that the so-called ‘future tense’ was appropriate.
I am interested in how we express the future*, and would be interested to see what others think about this.
I'll be following this thread with interest.
- For Teachers