English has many different ways to form future references. As in every grammar question, context is key. Your examples could be correct in certain situations but could also be incorrect in other contexts.

The following are only examples of future intentions. Each of the listed tense/aspects has many other functions.

Present simple- refers to a future time table of an object.

The plane takes off in 5 minutes.

The meeting starts in an hour.

The show ends soon.

Present Continuous- 1. refers to a future arrangement between people 2. expresses urgency


We’re taking off in 5 minutes. (Notice the subject is not ‘the plane’. )

They’re having a party on Friday

Mom is coming to visit next week.


Hurry up! The plane is taking off in 5 minutes.

C’mon! The train is coming.

Drink up! The movie is starting.

Present continuous ‘going to’ - 1. personal plan 2. prediction for the immediate future.


(**Planes don’t make personal plans. Therefore this structure sounds odd with ‘plane’ as the subject. See 2 below)

I’m going to make soup for lunch.

He’s going to study this afternoon.


The plane is going to take off in 5 minutes and we’re going to miss it! (This is much like the sense of urgency expressed with the present continuous above. It sounds slightly emphatic here.)

We’re going to miss the plane if you don’t hurry.

I’m going to sneeze!

Careful! You’re going to fall.

Will - 1. sudden thought, quick decision, 2. 1st conditional possibility

I can’t imagine how a plane could have a sudden idea and I also can’t imagine a situation where anyone would use ‘the plane’ followed by ‘will’ in this sense.


I was going to make an omelette, but we don’t have any eggs, so I’ll make soup instead.

Sorry, I can’t talk right now. I’ll phone you later.

Sorry, I can’t talk right now or I’ll miss my plane.

In a slightly humorous way you might hear something like this: Oh, no! I’ve got to run or the plane will leave without me.


If the crew finishes the check in the next few seconds, the plane will take off in 5 minutes.

If the weather clears, the plane will take off soon.

Future continuous - 1. compare two future actions 2. 1st conditional

Two weeks from now, I’ll be lying on a beach while you’re stuck in this office.

While I’m sleeping, your plane will be taking off.

If they don’t fill the plane with petrol, it won’t be taking off anytime soon!

If we don’t start saving money now, we will not be buying a car before Christmas.

**The plane will be taking off in 5 minutes—This sounds a bit regional. You might hear it, but it’s not standard.


Hopefully this post was helpful.


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  • All are possible in today's world of English along with the present simple as she added - the plane takes off.  It all depends on context.  If you are taking an IELTS exam or such they may split hairs about uisng "will" for future but in real life we don't.  Also, present continuous does not need to show any urgency.  The plane is taking off .... simply indicates it is scheduled to happen; it's on the calendar similar to "I am teaching on Friday".  

  • I completely disagree in some points of yours. Planes dont make plan, of course they dont, but someone else does plan for the plan so be going to is perfectly right in this context .

  • Thank you for sharing such a great information, Rys. It is very helpful. I hope I will not get confused when using it in the future. 

  • Hey ryyyysssss!

    I will come back again to re read this discussion and write it down. 

    It is really informative. Liked it ya DWD. Please keep posting such writings. 

    Take care! 

    See u around :)

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