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Thread: plan/planning

  1. #1
    kadioguy is offline Key Member
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    plan/planning

    a. They plan to arrive some time after three.

    b. We're planning a trip to France in the spring—are you interested?

    https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionari...english/plan_2
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    As you can see, 'plan' can be used in the simple or progress aspect. What is the different effect between them?

    I assume:

    (b) emphasizes that they are planning at that time, while (a) describes things in general - they have an
    intention or expectation that they can arrive some time after three.

    Is that right?
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: plan/planning

    Using the verb "plan" there's little, if any, difference.
    a) means that their intention is to arrive after three. They may have finishing planning it, and just have to put it into execution (ie. arrive after 3). But you could use "are planning".
    b) means that they haven't finished planning - but not because of the tense, but because they don't even know who will be going with them yet.
    It's not common to say "We plan a trip to France in the spring—are you interested?

    It's a bad verb to take any rules from.

  3. #3
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: plan/planning

    I think you're basically on the right lines. The difference is that the latter has aspect that the former does not have.

    Generally speaking, there isn't usually a great difference in meaning (not worth worrying about) when the complement of the verb plan is a to-infinitive phrase but when the complement is a direct object, as it is in b., then the simple aspect is often not possible.

    What I'm trying to say is this:

    a1: They plan to arrive some time after three.
    a2: They're planning to arrive some time after three.

    Both sentences can be used to state what they intend to do.

    b1: We're planning a trip to France in the spring.
    b2: We plan a trip to France in the spring.

    Sentence b2 doesn't work as a statement of intent.

  4. #4
    kadioguy is offline Key Member
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    Re: plan/planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's not common to say "We plan a trip to France in the spring—are you interested?
    Without the blue part, would it be more natural?

    [Cross-posted with jutfrank]

    (Updated)

    Having reading post #2, now I know that it wouldn't. We could say this instead:

    We plan to take a trip to France in the spring.
    Last edited by kadioguy; 14-Jan-2021 at 13:37.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  5. #5
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: plan/planning

    Yes, because, as I said, the complement there is a to-infintive.

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