Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tense Tricks, Part 4: Useless Appendages

The present continuous, or present progressive, tense indicates an action or state that is happening now:
She is working hard. (action)She is being diligent. (state)
Since the continuous action or state is obvious to us, we never need to write, "She is going to go to work." I often hear people speak like this, which may not be a problem in the context of a conversation. But I occasionally see people write the sentence, which is excessive at best and ambiguous at worst, especially since it confuses the present continuous with the future continuous tense. So we have two choices in such a case:

  • If we mean a present continuous action, we can write, "She is going to work. 
  • If we mean a future continuous action, we can write, "She will be going to work."