I'm already covering for someone else

A: I’m going to the doctor’s tomorrow, so do you think you could cover my shift for me?
B: Sorry, I’m already covering for someone else.

Question: Does B use the right tense? What tense should I use in this situation?

Thank you!!

B is correct.

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Yes, it’s the right tense. It’s present continuous* indicating future, meaning: I’m sorry, but I will already be working someone else’s shift for them, so I won’t be able to work your shift for you.

*Edit: name of tense corrected. Thank-you, Nicholas.

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Just a small note, it’s the present continuous (to be + -ing form), not the simple present.

The present continuous can be used as a future tense to indicate something that has already been planned or arranged (e.g. I’m meeting her tomorrow.) So, yes, it’s the right tense in this situation.


Thanks for the correction, Nicholas! I often fail to make the distinction between simple present and the continuous, but of course there’s a big difference! “Sorry, I already cover for someone else” make you sound like you not know English so very good, Mr. Leonard.

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