♔ THE FUTURE

key_smallThere are a number of different ways of referring to the future in English.

 

It is important to remember that we are expressing more than simply the time of the action or event.

 

1. SIMPLE FUTURE : WILL + INFINITIVE

 

The simple future is composed of two parts: WILL + infinitive without "to".

 

She will come to see you.

They will organize a big party next month.

 

AFFIRMATIVENEGATIVEQUESTION
I WILL WORK I WON'T WORK WILL I WORK ?
YOU WILL WORK YOU WON'T WORK WILL YOU WORK ?
HE WILL WORK HE WON'T WORK WILL HE WORK ?
SHE WILL WORK SHE WON'T WORK WILL SHE WORK ?
IT WILL WORK IT WON'T WORK WILL IT WORK ?
WE WILL WORK WE WON'T WORK WILL WE WORK ?
YOU WILL WORK YOU WON'T WORK WILL YOU WORK ?
THEY WILL WORK THEY WON'T WORK WILL THEY WORK ?

 

Contractions:   I will = I'll      I will not = I won't

 

We use it to PREDICT a future event:

It will rain tomorrow.

 

To express a SPONTANEOUS or a SNAP DECISION:    (unpremeditated, not planned)  It is usually in response to something.

The phone is ringing. Don't worry, I'll answer it.

What will you have for breakfast ?  I think I'll have some bacon and eggs.

 

To give an INVITATION and ORDERS:

Will you come to my birthday party?

You will do exactly as I say!

 

* SHALL is dated but can sometimes be used instead of WILL with ''I'' and ''We''.   It is now mainly used with ''I'' and ''We'' to make an OFFER or a SUGGESTION:

Shall we go to the cinema tonight?

Shall I open the window?

 

Or even to ASK FOR ADVICE:

What shall I tell her about it?

 

With the other persons (you, he, she, they) SHALL is only used in literary or poetic situations.

"Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross

To see a fine lady upon a white horse.

Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,

She shall have music wherever she goes.''

 

2. PRESENT CONTINUOUS FOR FUTURE EVENTS

 

It is composed of two parts: to be + v + ing. (Present Continuous)

He's coming next Saturday.

 

The present continuous is used as a future only when there is a TIME MENTIONED to talk about DEFINITE ARRANGEMENTS in the near future: there is a suggestion that more than one person is aware of the event, and that some preparation has already happened.

I'm meeting my brother at the airport tonight.    (My brother and I both know about it)

I'm leaving tomorrow for London.     (I've already bought my plane ticket)

 

3. FUTURE WITH ''BE GOING TO''

 

This form is composed of three elements: the appropriate form of the verb ''TO BE'' + GOING TO + THE INFINITIVE OF THE VERB.

We're going to play football on Sunday.

 

The use of ''Going To'' suggests a very strong association with the present. The time is not important – it is later than now, but the attitude is that the event depends on a present situation that we know about.

 

It is used to refer to PLANS and INTENTIONS:

They're going to move to Birmingham next year.     (The plan is in their mind now)

 

It is also used to make PREDICTIONS based on present evidence:

Look at these clouds. It's going to rain!    (It is clear from what I can see now.)

 

NB: It is not very usual to put the verbs ''come'' and ''go'' into the ''going to'' form. They are more likely to be put into the present continuous.

 

4. FUTURE WITH THE SIMPLE PRESENT

 

This form is not often used as a future but you may hear it in travel agencies to describe TRAVEL PLANS  (It's on a timetable). It is also used to describe a SERIES OF ACTIONS.

 

The plane leaves at 5.00 am

We leave Bordeaux at 7.00 am then we go straight to the airport. We fly from Mérignac airport at 8.30 and arrive in London at 9.00 am local time.

 

 

Now you may want to practise with some exercises, then just click HERE.

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