Here’s another post from Liz Hulley

When you are “planning” to do something, what is your degree of intent? I’m just curious because apparently in the Russian language, “planning” is tentative. That is, “planning” to do something means that you still aren’t sure. I don’t know if this is a linguistic distinction, or cultural, or both.

In class today we asked the teacher what the difference was between “thinking” about doing something and “planning” to do something. She said they were synonyms. We asked how you could express “planning” to do something, but when you are sure. She said that didn’t happen. Hmm, okay…

Here’s how I picture the English verbs working:

1) I’m thinking about going/I might go to the beach tomorrow (tentative).

2) I’m planning to go to the beach tomorrow if the weather’s nice (conditional: I’ll go IF x happens).

3) I’m planning to go to the beach unless it rains (conditional: I’ll go UNLESS x happens).

4) I’m going to the beach tomorrow (no question).

I would definitely view option 3 as closer to yes than no. But these are all assumptions from my own head. Maybe I’m wrong?