Using the present continuous to talk about the future
The present continuous is used to talk about arrangements for events at a time later than now. There is a suggestion that more than one person is aware of the event, and that some preparation has already happened. e.g.
- I'm meeting Jim at the airport = Jim and I have discussed this.
- I am leaving tomorrow. = I've already bought my train ticket.
- We're having a staff meeting next Monday = all members of staff have been told about it.
- Is she seeing him tomorrow?
- He isn't working next week.
- They aren't leaving until the end of next year.
- We are staying with friends when we get to Boston.
Note: In the first example, "seeing" is used in a continuous form because it means "meeting".
Notice the difference between:
a. We're having a staff meeting next Monday = just that once
b. We have a staff meeting every Monday