In this piece, the future events are expressed using ir, a, and the infinitive. My two-part question is whether, in the circumstances depicted in the piece, the simple future tense and/or the present tense could be used to express the future and under what circumstances each of the three choices is either indicated or preferred.
Muchas gracias de antemano.
Reading A2, Family & Relationships, Listening or Seeing A2
The near future (ir a + infinitive) is generally used, like we are doing in this text about Edu, to refer to actions in the future that we have already planned and are not too far away in time. So all these things that Celeste is going to do are things she's already decided/planned to do. This doesn't mean that you can't use the near future for events that will happen in the far away future and that you've also planned. You can also say "El verano que viene vamos a ir a Benidorm."
The simple future can be used for both, actions that will happen soon or later on in time, although there is a tendency to use it for a more further away future, e.g. Cuando sea mayor me compraré una casita en el campo. But again, you can also use the simple future to say: Mañana iré a ver a Juan.
The present indicative is used sometimes to talk about a future action, but it needs to use a time phrase in the sentence that indicates this, for example: Yo me jubilo en el 2050, or, Mañana tengo un exámen de Matemáticas.
I personally think that the rigid rule about using the near future for planned events and the simple future for other type of future actions should be really taken as a flexible rule, because this is only a tendency but in practice I'd say they are interchangeable.
I hope it clarified it.
Thank you very much for this lucid and enlightening response. Just so I understand you correctly, your feeling is that the near future and simple future involve a considerable degree of flexibility in their usage and are essentially interchangeable whereas the usage of the present tense to depict an event in the future does have a relatively fixed rule in that it requires some sort of specified time reference in order to be used appropriately.
Por ejemplo: Cocino un pastel. I'm cooking a cake.
Cocino un pastel esta noche a las nueve. I'm going to cook a take tonight at nine.
Have I interpreted your response correctly?
As an aside, I'm not getting email notifications of responses to my questions even though I've checked the email notification box several times. Am I missing some step in the process?
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