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Overview   -   Irregular Verbs   -    Forms of "to be"   -   Intensive Grammar Course

Past Perfect Tenses   -   Past Tenses   -   Present Perfect Tenses   -   Present Tenses   -   Future Tenses

Future Tenses:

There are many ways to express that something will happen in the future. The most important future tenses are the ‘will’-future and the ‘going to’-future, but the English language also frequently requires other future tenses. By the way: modal verbs (can, may, must…) always require present simple tense, even though they may refer to some future action!

"will" future simple   -   "will" future progr.   -   "going to" future simple   -   "going to" future progr.

present progressive as future tense   -   present simple ("timetable future")   -   future perfect

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“will”-future simple


will + base form   |   will not = won’t


simple descriptions of an action in the future or general statement about something in the future;

spontaneous decisions
-Come on, I will help you.
-I have just decided that I will go to the movies tonight.

predictions & weather report
-The test won't be easy.
-They say that the storm will reach Florida on Tuesday morning.
-Tomorrow the weather will be cloudy, and it will rain in most parts of the country later in the afternoon.

promises & agreements
-I will take out the dustbin tonight, but you will look after the baby.
-I promise, I will never do something like that again.

uncertainty concerning the future, probability
-They will probably come at 5 or 6 in the evening.
-We’ll call unless we forget it.

“if”-clauses (conditional I)
-If you don’t go to bed now, you will be tired tomorrow.
-They will kill me if I don’t tell them who stole the car.

time indicators:

I promise, I have just decided that, come on, probably, maybe, possibly, it may be that, it isn’t sure that...

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“will”-future progressive


will + be + “ing”-Form


descriptions of a longer action that will be happening at a certain point of time in the future

-Next year this time I will be sitting in Brazil enjoying the warm weather.
-I think that they will be playing cards when we come home.

time indicators:

next year this time, in three months time, ...

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“going to”-Future Simple


am/are/is + going to + base form


plans for the future

-I am going to visit my uncle next week.
-They are going to sing a song at the prom. They have been rehearsing a lot.

predictions for which there is evidence; things that are obviously going to happen

-The test is going to be difficult; the teacher has told everyone to study hard.
-Look at those dark clouds! It’s going to rain soon!


-She has been reading a lot about piercings lately, so I suppose she is going to buy a piercing soon!
-I am going to buy a new car, because my old one doesn’t really work any more.

certainty about the future

-They are certainly going to come.
-We’re going to call you as soon as we arrive at the airport.

time indicators:

certainly, surely, definately; look!; we have already decided that...


in colloquial English, especially in American English, „going to” often turns into „gonna“

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“going to”-Future Progressive


am/are/is + going to be + “ing”-Form


The „going to“-Future Progressive is hardly ever used. It can describe longer actions that are certainly going to happen in the future.

-Next week they are going to be writing a 3-hour test.
-Telling from the clouds in the sky I’m sure it’s gonna be raining all night long.

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Present Progressive as Future Tense


am/are/is + “ing”-Form


descriptions and actions in the future that have been fixed, planned and arranged

-We are staying at the Hilton. I’ve already called the hotel and they will reserve a room for us.
-They are performing in the big hall. They’ve already arranged everything.

Often "going to"- Future can be used instead of Present Progressive as Future Tense; however, this leads to a slight change of meaning in the sentence

- Present Progressive expresses that something is absolutely sure
- "going to" expresses that something is quite certain

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Present Simple –“Timetable” Future


„base form“ (3rd person "s")


official time indications, timetables

-The train leaves at 5:34. (It leaves whether I’m in it or not…)
-They broadcast the news at 10pm.

NOTE: Official predictions (which do not simply indicate a time) normally require „will“-Future

-The president will give his speech tomorrow morning.
-The Queen will open the celebrations.

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Future Perfect :


will have + Base Form


something that will have already happened at a certain point in the future. (An action before another action in the future)

-This time next year we will have had all our final exams already.
-They will have arrived at the station by 9 or 10 in the evening.

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Intensive Grammar Course - Tenses                     (rightclick to download) downloadable in PDF format

Intensive Grammar Course - key to exercises     (rightclick to download) downloadable in PDF format


short overview of all future tenses                             (rightclick to download) downloadable in PDF format







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