How Do I Teach Present Progressive Future Meaning?

Present progressive is the grammar pattern used to express an event or state that is persisting, whether this be “sitting”, “talking”, “watching”, or any other verb. Progressive form can also extend to past, future, and perfect tenses, but the least often explained is present progressive tense with future meaning.

This should be taught immediately after present tense, and preferably before simple future tense, as Japanese has no future tense, and this grammar form most closely resembles their grammar.


The fat man is coming quickly.

Find a picture of a man, and have the student choose a name for the man. This name should be either an American name or a Japanese name, but any name will work for the grammar. Write this name on a piece of paper, and place it next to the man’s picture. Have the student read A in the below conversation, and the teacher reads B. After reading twice, switch roles and perform the exercise again, substituting information. More advanced students can add additional information.

A) When are you coming?
B) I am coming (now/in 5 minutes/at 3pm/etc.)
A) “oh no, too soon!”/”ok, good timing!”

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5 Responses to How Do I Teach Present Progressive Future Meaning?

  1. Tommy Clamdip says:

    Hey Bob, good timing by posting this on Valentine’s Day. I spent a good part of the day making one of my students say “I am coming”.
    I owe you a beer.

    • Zikrullah says:

      Found your blog while doing a google secrah about the present progressive with future meaning — nice! I was wondering at what level you think it is appropriate to teach this use of the present progressive? Should it be taught more or less in conjunction with the use of the present progressive for present events, or should one wait until the students are more advanced? I’d very much appreciate any advice you have on this. Thanks!

  2. none says:

    Fuck you Bob. You fucking suck as a teacher and I hope you lose the lawsuit.

  3. This really answered my problem, thank you!

  4. Sandro says:

    In Germany it’s taught in grade 7. The stduents had English lessons since their 3rd grade by then and are about 12-13 years old. Hope this helps! And great blog btw, thx!!!

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