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Present Simple or Future Continuous?



I have just re-done the all tenses test and I got this sentence wrong.

Our flight (not land) in Sydney until 5 am tomorrow.

My answer: Our flight will not be landing in Sydney until 5 am tomorrow.

Right answer: Our flight does not land in Sydney until 5 am tomorrow.

I don't really understand why I have to use Present Simple here. The interesting thing is I have asked an English speaker which one is the correct answer and he said the correct one is the first one (Future Continuous).

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4 answers to this question

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Hello everyone,

I agree with Chary as for the use of present simple for scheduled events like departure or landing of planes in your example. At least, it is the rule in formal English grammar. But it is known that native English speakers often break the rules when speaking. It maybe the reason why the person you asked their opinion gave you that answer ... It is known too that Native speakers sometimes make grammar mistakes as well (which is reassuring for us ;) )

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Thank you, Hari and Phil, for answering Claudia's question. You are both correct.

And Phil is right, native speakers take liberties with grammatical rules. The reason they get away with it is that they know instinctively when they can break the rules and still be understood perfectly.

In the case of Future tenses, if it is irrelevant whether the future event is an intention (going to do), an arrangement (be doing) , or a timetable (it happens), they tend to use the Future Continuous as a 'one size fits all' replacement.

In conclusion, both tenses are correct, one strictly grammatically, and the other in everyday usage.


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