Le futur proche vs le présent


Kwiziq community member

2 December 2018

1 reply

Le futur proche vs le présent

Ron gave some good guidance on j’arrive, but is there general guidance on when to use le présent and when to use le futur proche? For example, it seems to me that « Je vais partir d’ici deux heures » would be just fine, but based on the lesson maybe that’s not the case?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Using Le Présent for immediate/near future actions"


Kwiziq community member

18 March 2019


While Ron did give good guidance, it's really not done this meticulously in practice though it sounds good in theory.  In practice, there seems to be overlap between the two and there is no official rule specifying a time frame when you have to switch from one to another. Every French speaker seems to decide for themselves. If the action is not pretty much immediate (like screaming "I'm coming!" as you run towards the ringing doorbell) but within 24 hours, both the future proche and the present seem acceptable.

Of course there is a subtle difference. 

Demain, il arrive à dix heures.---Tomorrow's he's arriving at ten o'clock.

Demain, il va arriver à dix heures.--Tomorrow, he will arrive at ten o'clock. 

They are both valid in English and they are both valid in French. 

Also, I actually don't think that you can say  "Je vais partir d'ici deux heures". Do you mean "Je vais partir d'ici à deux heures?" (at two o'clock)

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