Student or Learner
I wonder if there is subtle difference between "1" and "2".
1. Since your mother is sick, I'm making dinner tonight.
2. Since your mother is sick, I'll be making dinner tonight.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) The moderator has given all of us an excellent answer. Most
books tell us that the present and future progressive/continuous
are, indeed, often interchangeable.
(2) Learners who ask questions force me to better understand my
own English. I always learn so much from trying to answer their
questions. I have been checking around, and I have found that some
people feel that there could be a nuance between:
(a) Mother is sick, so I am cooking dinner tonight.
(b) Mother is sick, so I will be cooking dinner tonight.
(3) Mr. M.H., an extremely well-informed person who has given advice at (at least) two helplines, analyzes these sentences:
(c) We are going to pick up Jon at the airport.
(d) We are picking up Jon.
(e) We will be picking up Jon.
Mr. M.H. says that (d) and (e) are more "lively." I guess he means they show
more excitement about taking part in the action of picking up Jon.
And, says Mr. M.H., (e) is the most "anticipatory." That means, I guess,
that (e) shows the most excitement and eagerness (happiness) about
picking up Jon.
(4) Ms./Mr. P is not a native speaker. That means nothing. Many
non-native speakers understand English grammar much better than I.
S/he feels that the present progressive = a future that is arranged. That is, it's a "sure thing."
The future progressive, s/he feels, = less stress on the fact that
something has been arranged. To quote him/her: "It's as if you were
seeing yourself doing something."
(5) And Ms. A., an extremely well-qualified teacher of international
students, reminds us of something that all the great teachers at
usingenglish.com are always reminding us learners: CONTEXT. That is,
how were those sentences said, where were they said, and when were
(a) According to Ms. A., a sentence like (a) could be used in different
contexts. I shall give only one. "Mother is sick, so I am cooking dinner
tonight" could mean that the speaker usually does not cook dinner.
(b) On the other hand, "Mother is sick, so I will be cooking dinner
tonight" could mean (depending on the context) that the speaker
quite often does it. (MY NOTE: Let's say that Mother has a serious
illness. She usually cooks dinner, but it's the family plan that on those
days when she is too ill, the speaker regularly takes over.)
(6) Hopefully, other people will add their input. That is how all of
us learn more. When it comes to language, we should all be very
Not a native speaker.
I suppose that in the right context #1 could also be heard in a conversation taken place at night, while #2 couldn't be so used.
Tom returned home. It was eight o'clock. He saw Steve, his father, was busy in the kitchen.
Tom:Why are you cooking?
Steve:Since your mother is sick, I'm making dinner tonight.