Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tell Me, Where Are You Going Tomorrow?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Perhaps you are trying to set some time aside for a session of studying Spanish together. At some point, you announce that tomorrow you have to go somewhere. The other person was not fully aware of your plans for tomorrow and at that point says to you something like: "tell me, where are you going tomorrow?".

 In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿adónde vas mañana?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿adónde va (usted) mañana?



OUR TIP
You could think of the question you are asked as a typical prompt to talk about your plans for the future (tomorrow).  When talking about what you are doing/ planning to do/ thinking about doing in the future, you DO NOT need to be concerned about levels of formality. You just need to concentrate on expressing your plans for the future. In this case, perhaps you want to say that tomorrow you are:
  • Going to specific geographical destination (town/ country/ etc.).
  • Have an appointment (medical/ dental/ etc.).
  • Have something to do.
  • Taking part in a sports/ leisure activity (playing tennis/ golf/ etc.).
  • Doing something you do on days such as tomorrow.

Here are some examples of how you would say what you are doing tomorrow:
  • Mañana voy a Los Ángeles* (tomorrow I am going to LA).
  • Mañana tengo cita con el médico a las nueve de la mañana* (tomorrow I have a medical appointment at 9:00am).
  • Mañana tengo que estudiar* (tomorrow I need to study).
  • Mañana juego a tenis* (tomorrow I am playing tennis).
  • Como todos los lunes, mañana tengo clase de español (as is the case on Mondays, tomorrow I have my Spanish class).

Now you should practice talking about the future to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿adónde vas mañana?

*Please see grammar below

Grammar-The Future
These are examples of expressions using the present tense to express the future. Remember that in Spanish we have three separate ways to express the future:

1. Using the present Tense.- In  Spanish we can use the present tense to express the future (plans/ intentions/ events/ etc.). Some examples of  expressions of the future of this type are:
  • Mañana vamos a la playa* (tomorrow we are going to the beach).
  • La semana que viene es mi cumpleaños (next week is my birthday).
  • El mes que viene no tengo exámenes (next month I don't have any exams).
  • ¿Qué hacéis el año que viene?* (what are you -plural doing next year). 
Notes
*In English, when expressing the future the continuous present is often used (for example "tomorrow we are going to the beach"). In contrast, in Spanish the ordinary present is used throughout ( "mañana vamos a la playa"/ "¿qué hacéis el año que viene?").



2. Using the Future Tense*.-  In  Spanish we can use the future tense to express the future (plans/ intentions/ events/ etc.). Some examples of  expressions of the future of this type are: :
  • Mañana iremos a la playa* (tomorrow we will go/ we will be going to the beach[*]).
  • La semana que viene será mi cumpleaños (next week it will be my birthday).
  • El mes que viene no tendré exámenes (next month I will not have/ will not be having any exams[*]).
  • ¿Qué haréis el año que viene?* (what will you -plural do/ what will you -plural be doing next year)*.
Notes
*Please note that this form of expressing the future (using the future tense) is not quite so common in spoken Spanish language.
[*]Please note also that in Spanish, the use of the continuous future tense (e.g., we will be going to the beach) is a lot less common when expressing the future and should not be used in future expressions such as this one.



3. Using "ir + a" followed by an infinitive*.- In  Spanish we can use the construction "ir + a" plus an infinitive to express the future (plans/ intentions/ etc.). Some examples of  wish expressions of this type are:
  • Mañana vamos a ir a la playa* (tomorrow we are going to go the beach).
  • La semana que viene va a ser mi cumpleaños (next week is going to be my birthday).
  • El mes que viene no voy a tener exámenes (next month I am not going to have any exams).
  • ¿Qué váis a hacer el año que viene?* (what are you -plural going to do next year?).
Notes
*Please note that this a very common form of expressing the future in spoken Spanish language.



Now you should practise expressing the future with some examples of your own.


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