Use El Futuro Próximo (not El Presente Progresivo) for future arrangements

In Spanish, we use El Futuro Próximo, e.g. "voy a comprar, vas a comprar, va a comprar, etc" when we are talking about things that we've arranged for the future.

Have a look at the following examples:

Voy a comprarme una casa en las afueras de Madrid.
I am buying a house on the outskirts of Madrid.

Ella va a apuntarse al curso de yoga de los martes.
She is signing up for the yoga classes on Tuesdays.

Los estudiantes van a sorprender a la maestra con un ramo de flores.
The students are surprising the teacher with a bunch of flowers.

Notice how in Spanish, El Futuro Próximo is used but in English El Presente Progresivo is used instead.

Remember: to express what you are doing in the future as an already decided and arranged for action in the future, use El Futuro Próximo, not El Presente Progresivo

For example:

I've decided to go to Barcelona this coming Saturday:

"Voy a ir a Barcelona este sábado." (correct)

"Estoy yendo a Barcelona este sábado." (incorrect)

(I am going to Barcelona this Saturday.)

See also a more basic lesson on El Presente Progresivo and El Futuro Próximo:

Using El Presente Progresivo instead of El Presente (temporary vs permanent actions)

Conjugate ir + a + infinitive = to be going to (near future)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Voy a comprarme una casa en las afueras de Madrid.
I am buying a house on the outskirts of Madrid.


Los estudiantes van a sorprender a la maestra con un ramo de flores.
The students are surprising the teacher with a bunch of flowers.


Ella va a apuntarse al curso de yoga de los martes.
She is signing up for the yoga classes on Tuesdays.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 2 answers

JohnB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Voy a comprar - I am buying or I am going to buy?

Hola,

This lesson is clear in distinguishing the Futuro Próximo, but is there a reason why none of the translations offered use the variation "I am going to buy a house.... / They are going to have a meal tonight.... etc.?

These would be common ways of expressing future arrangements in English, and happily distinguish it very clearly from the present progressive "I am buying a house" which doesn't quite capture the idea of a future arrangement. 

Is there some distinction that I'm not aware of?

Saludos. John

Asked 6 days ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola John

We've chosen the translations that use the present progressive in English for our sentences expressing a future arrangement with the near future precisely to make the distinction between the Spanish and the English use of "I am doing" and "I am going to do". In English, you can use the present progressive to express a future arrangement, for example:

 "I am buying some socks"

can mean you are buying them right now or you have planned to buy some socks and will do so in the future. But if we use that same sentence using the present progressive in Spanish:

"Estoy comprando unos calcetines." 

this can only mean that you are buying socks now, not in the future.

In reference to why we are not using both translations in English "I am doing [something]" and "I am going to do [something], it is simply because we chose one, but I don't think it'd be a different meaning in English if we had chosen the second one with the near future tense, not the present progressive tense.

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

JohnB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks Inma 

The distinction is quite significant isn't it. I am clearer now regarding the translation as well.

Voy a comprar - I am buying or I am going to buy?

Hola,

This lesson is clear in distinguishing the Futuro Próximo, but is there a reason why none of the translations offered use the variation "I am going to buy a house.... / They are going to have a meal tonight.... etc.?

These would be common ways of expressing future arrangements in English, and happily distinguish it very clearly from the present progressive "I am buying a house" which doesn't quite capture the idea of a future arrangement. 

Is there some distinction that I'm not aware of?

Saludos. John

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