Learn basics of future tense in English grammar
To express a future idea, there are several possibilities in English but be careful as these ones don’t necessarily correspond to the values of the future of your mother tongue. To master well how to express the future in English it is important to associate its corresponding values.
A verbal basis is an infinitive with to.
- Decision made on the spot, forecasts based on estimations, calculations, intentions, threats or promises with will + verbal basis
- Decisions made on the spot
A: Look, it’s snowing!
B: You’ll wear your snowboots then.
In this case, A has seen it was snowing and B makes the decision to make A wear snow boots.
b. Forecasts based on estimations and calculations
With the increasing number of screens in households, we’ll soon have at least 5 screens each.
This example is a predication based on an estimation.
c. Intentions, threats or promises
He won’t help you if you keep on complaining all the time.
This is a threat.
2. Planned projects or forecasts based on present or past observations, intentions/long-term projects with be going to + verbal basis
- Planned projects or forecasts based on present or past observations
With such clouds, it is going to rain soon.
This example is a forecast based on present observations.
b. Intentions/long-term projects
When she gets older, she is going to work as a CEO of a big company.
3. Sure, regular and customary facts with the simple present
Your everyday train leaves at 7 AM.
4. An event coming soon, personal arrangements or planned things with present continuous (be + –ING verb)
For her mother’s birthday, she is cooking a very refined meal.
5. Official programs or personal arrangements with to be to + verbal basis
The American President is to attend the French parade of July 14th.
6. Projections into the future, actions which will be happening in the future at a precise time with will be + –ING verb
Next week, at this exact time I’ll be taking my very last exam.
7. Actions which will be finished at a moment in the future with will have + past participle
By next month, he will have finished all his tasks.
8. The time an action or fact will have been lasting at a precise moment in the future with will have been + –ING verb
On September 15th, Leo will have been living 15 years in France.
Mastering future tenses car be useful notably on parts 5 and 6 of the TOEIC but also for the Speaking and Writing of the TOEFL and IELTS, QCM and open close exercises of the IELTS and in exercise 4 (open close texts) of the BULATS.