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 3 questions, 6 answers

IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

False English to fit lesson

________. Álvaro is working at a bar this summer.HINT: It refers to a decision made and arranged for the future
Álvaro va a trabajar en un bar este verano.

Sometimes the English is contrived to make a point in relation ta a specific lesson.  These can be quite false.  To say Alvaro is working in a bar this summer  means it is now summer and that is what Alvaro is doing.  If asked:  "What is Alvaro going to be doing this summer?" the response could well be : " He's workking in a bar this summer" meaning that is what he is going to do. 


Why not give the English as " Alvaro is going to work" OR " is going to be working in a bar this summer". ?.  it is less artificial and makes much more sense.  (And is less irrtating)

Asked 3 weeks ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Ian,

may I refer you to the answer given to John in this channel?

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

As per the use of English, we try as much as we can to use natural and conversational English in our translations, for example avoiding literal translations when they don't make sense or sound very unnatural to English readers. But sometimes in specific lessons we need to use a specific structure in English to visually show what the Spanish is conveying (as long as that structure is correct in English) This is what we tried to do in this lesson.

False English to fit lesson

________. Álvaro is working at a bar this summer.HINT: It refers to a decision made and arranged for the future
Álvaro va a trabajar en un bar este verano.

Sometimes the English is contrived to make a point in relation ta a specific lesson.  These can be quite false.  To say Alvaro is working in a bar this summer  means it is now summer and that is what Alvaro is doing.  If asked:  "What is Alvaro going to be doing this summer?" the response could well be : " He's workking in a bar this summer" meaning that is what he is going to do. 


Why not give the English as " Alvaro is going to work" OR " is going to be working in a bar this summer". ?.  it is less artificial and makes much more sense.  (And is less irrtating)

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IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Simple present tense indicating future plans or intentions.

I had always understood that using the simple present tense or the compound "going to do something" worked exactly the same in English as Spanish. Something planned or intended for the future.  (Not the present continuous)

Visitamos a Lola este fin de semana.We are visiting Lola this weekend.
Vamos a visitar a Lola este fin de semana.We are going to visit Lola thei weekend.

All  the above sentences mean exactly the same thing.


Asked 3 weeks ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Ian

The main message in this lesson is to highlight the difference between the English:

I am seeing Jack this weekend.

and its equivalent in Spanish to convey the same thing (expressing something you are going to do):

Voy a ver a Jack este fin de semana.

If you compare the two structures used, in English you are using "am seeing" but the Spanish is using "am going to see".

So, if an English speaker is asked to say something like: "He is going out with her tonight" (future, but using the structure of the present continuous as in I am doing something now), he/she could wrongly think that in Spanish you can also use the present continuous structure, saying "Él está saliendo con ella esta noche" and that would be a mistake, because for this we'd use El Futuro Próximo: ''Él va a salir con ella esta noche".

I hope this clarified it

Saludos

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Ian,

may I refer you to the answer given to John in this channel?

Inma

Simple present tense indicating future plans or intentions.

I had always understood that using the simple present tense or the compound "going to do something" worked exactly the same in English as Spanish. Something planned or intended for the future.  (Not the present continuous)

Visitamos a Lola este fin de semana.We are visiting Lola this weekend.
Vamos a visitar a Lola este fin de semana.We are going to visit Lola thei weekend.

All  the above sentences mean exactly the same thing.


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JohnB2Kwiziq 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 4 months 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

JohnB2Kwiziq 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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