In the fill in the blanks exercise working futur proche
1. je vais retrouver Julien et Sophie dans le centre-ville.
Why is: je vais rencontrer incorrect?
2. When I read in English will be I wrote sera. I should have known better because what is being tested is futur proche and va etre should have been my response; but I would like to know if it could be considered correct, understandable, from a native speakers standpoint.
rencontrer usually means to meet someone for the first time or to bump into someone. Retrouver is more like to meet someone again.
Here is a nice summary: https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-vocabulary/to-meet-up-in-french-rencontrer-versus-retrouver-se-reunir-faire-la-connaissance/
Regarding your second question, both versions of the future tense will be understood by native French speakers, they are both grammatically correct. There is a slight difference in meaning, however.
If the English is 'will be', then «sera» fits better as a direct translation, without other context. «va etre» is more directly translated as 'going to be', but clearly the correct response if futur proche is specifically required. In French or English either will be understood, and both are used.
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