Grammar Corner: The Future Tenses

The future tenses

Some people say don’t wish your life away, but when learning a language 📚, you need to know the future tenses and it’s something to look forward to!

It can sometimes be confusing 🤔 when using the future tenses, so here is a step by step guide to the future. Infinity, and beyond language learners!

What do we use the future tenses for?

Let’s start slowly slowly with will, shall and going to.  We use WILL for the following, Predictions, When do you think you will take the exam 📝? The climate probably won’t change much in the next few years.  When we talk about what we believe, we use will and won’tFuture facts, I’ll be at work on Monday (contraction I’ll – I will). Instant decisions, I’ll help you carry the shopping 🛍, I’ll answer the door. Promises, I’ll remember your birthday next time, Sorry, I won’t do it again. And finally, Offers and suggestions, Shall I cook 👩🏻‍🍳 dinner tonight? Where shall we go for lunch tomorrow?  We only use shall with I and we when making a suggestion.

GOING TO, Plans, I’m going to buy a new car 🚗 next week, He’s going to call me tomorrow. Remember! Going to is an INTENTION, the plan can change.  Predictions, it’s going to rain later, England aren’t going to win the world cup.  These predictions are based on evidence, for example, it’s grey and cloudy so it’s going to rain ☔, England are rubbish at football so they aren’t going to win.

Will, shall and going to are all followed by the infinitive.

Present Continuous

Present continuous.  When learning English, this can sometimes be difficult to get your head around, but it’s pretty straightforward. Whereas GOING TO is an intention, Present Continuous is AN ARRANGEMENT.  I’m flying to England at Christmas, It’s a plan, I booked the flight, and it won’t change.  I’m having an English lesson on Thursday.  He’s meeting his bank manager tomorrow. We all know that you don’t want to change your English lesson or that important meeting with the bank manager!

Future Perfect

Now, here we get down to business, because this is where the fun starts.  Once you understand this, it will be plain sailing ⛵…..

Future perfect.  We use the future perfect; will have plus past participle to say that something will be finished before a certain time in the future.  For example, I will have passed my exam 📝 by Summer, You will have learnt all the future tenses by the time you have read all this blog!  You can also use a timeline, in six months’ time, in a week’s time, in a year. To form the negative, won’t have plus past participle. I won’t have built my house by next week.  I will have built my house 🏡 by next year.  Just remember, the task will have been finished.

Future perfect continuous.  We use the future perfect continuous; will be plus verb-ing to say that an action will be in progress in the future.  Here we go, Next week, I will be sitting on the beach 🏖 in Las Palmas.  I will be sitting in a café, drinking beer.  Sounds fabulous!  So what’s the difference between will plus infinitive and will be verb-ing?  We will have dinner at 8.00 o’clock, this means dinner starts at 8.00 o’clock, please be on time.  We will be having dinner at 8 o’clock, dinner started at 7.45 so at 8.00 o’clock, it’s in progress.

Super easy yeah?

So here goes your learners challenge, can you tell us…

When will you take the English exam? 📝

What are you going to do next weekend?

What are you doing at Christmas? 🎄

What will you have achieved by New Year?

What will you be doing on New Years Eve? 🎉

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