Expressing Future in English

There are several ways to express future in English. However, each possibility denotes a particular meaning. That is why it is important to understand what each means so that we don’t make mistakes in English while speaking of a future action.

1. Present Simple

a. future events which are part of a fixed timetable or fixed programme

 ‘What time does the tennis start tomorrow?’     ‘At 6.50.’
The film starts and 7.30 and finishes at 9.00.
What time does your plane leave tomorrow?
Next summer the school holidays begin on July 2nd and end on September 10th.

b. after when, if, as / so soon as, unless, after, before, provided / providing (that)

I’ll buy a newspaper when I go out.
We won’t go out until it stops raining.
We’ll go to the beach if the weather is nice.
I’ll go to the party provided you go too.

2. Present Continuous

established arrangements or plans for the future

‘What are you doing on Saturday night?’    ‘I’m meeting Mary.’
We’re visiting some friends in Scotland next week.

3. To be going to

a. we use ‘be going to’ to talk about something in the future which we can see as a result of something in the present:

Look at thise black clouds in the sky. It is going to rain. Those people are going to get wet.
Hurry up! It’s getting late. You’re going to miss the train.
Look out! The ladder is going to fall!

b. intention in the future

I’m going to fly to Spain.
She’s going to have a shower.
“Why have you moved all the furniture out of this room?’     ‘I’m going to clean the carpet.’

4. will+V

a. prediction

There will be another cold day in the country tomorrow.
We won’t arrive home before midnight tonight.

When we predict the future, we often use will with the following verbs and expressions:
think, expect, believe, be sure, be afraid, hope

b. on-the-spot decisions

‘Would you like something to drink?’     ‘Oh, thank you. I’ll have some orange juice.’
I’m hungry. I’ll make a sandwich.
‘There’s someone at the door.’     ‘Is there? Oh, I’ll see who it is.’

 5. will+be+Ving

we use future continuous to talk about something which will be in progress at a time in the future

I’ll be having dinner at 7.00/
Don’t phone me at 8.00. I’ll be doing my homework.
What will you be doing this time next week?

Let’s check how well you got it!!!

1. Say what all the tenses below express (you can write your answers in your native language).

a.       I’ll be a great teacher in five years’ time!

b.      It’s cloudy outside. It’s going to rain.

c.       Take your umbrella. It’s raining outside.

d.      The shop opens tomorrow at 9 o’clock.

e.      I’m hungry. I’ll make a sandwich.

f.        I’m flying to Madrid this Saturday.

g.       I’m going to fly to Madrid this Saturday.

h.      She will read the book when she has time.

i.        Tomorrow at 6 o’clock she’ll be reading Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”.

j.        She will see an alien when pigs fly.

2. Choose the correct or most suitable answer A or B.

a. If you go to Moscow, you …………Red Square.

A. will see

B. see

b. Sue will give me some money when she …………paid.

A. will get

B. gets

c. Who do you think …………the next elections?

A. is winning

B. will win

d. Don’t go out without a coat on. You …………a cold.

A. You’ll catch

B. You’re going to catch

e. I can’t go out with you on Sunday.  …………a friend.

A. I meet

B. I’m meeting

f. At 2 o’clock tomorrow ………… in my office.

A. I’ll work

B. I’ll be working

g.  The concert …………at 8 o’clock on Saturday.

A. starts

B. is going to start

h. “Would you like a drink?” “Oh, yes, ………… a Coke. Thank you.”

A. I’ll have

B. I’m going to have

i. “Where are you going with that ladder?” “……….. the roof.”

A. I’ll repair

B. I’m going to repair

j. Look out! The glass ………… off the table.

A. falls

B. is going to fall

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