English

Future

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

Read time : 6 minutes
Talking about the future in English can be confusing! We use will / shall, be going to, present continuous and present simple for different reasons when we talk about the future.

Future Form : ( To be + going to + infinitive (verb 1) )

In English we use 'be going to' to talk about :

  • personal plans or intentions
  • predictions based on present evidence
We change the form of 'be' according to the subject.

The table below shows the different forms of future with be going to :

Example verb : runIYou / We / TheyHe / She / It
PositiveI'm going to run ......'re going to run ......'s going to run ...
NegativeI'm not going to run ...... aren't going to run ...... isn't going to run ...
QuestionsAm I going to run ...?Are ... going to run ...?Is ... going to run ...?
Short answers

Yes, I am. /

No, I'm not.

Yes, ... are. /

No, ... aren't.

Yes, ... is. /

No, ... isn't.

Be Going To Example Sentences :

Positive Examples of Be Going To :

  • I'm going to work harder. 
  • We're going to have a holiday next year.
  • He's going to lose ten kilos.
  • John's going to quit smoking.
  • Look at those clouds. It's going to rain. 

Negative Examples of Be Going To :

  • I'm not going to see you this weekend.
  • You aren't going to play football tonight.
  • They aren't going to come to the party.
  • It isn't going to rain.

Question Examples of Be Going To :

  • What am I going to do?
  • Where are you going to live next year?
  • When is he going to arrive?
  • Which movie are you going to see?
  • Are you going to Brighton next week?
  • Is it going to snow tomorrow?


When we use 'be going to' with the infinitive 'go', we can leave out "to go" and still have the same meaning.

Example Sentences :

  • I'm going to go to Japan. = I'm going to Japan.
  • I'm going to go shopping on Saturday. = I'm going shopping on Saturday.
  • They aren't going to go to the party tonight. = They aren't going to the party tonight. 

 

Future Form : ( Will + infinitive (verb 1) )


In English we use 'will' to talk about:

  • decisions made at the time of speaking
  • predictions not based on present evidence
  • offers, promises and suggestions
  • future facts


The table below shows the different forms of will + infinitive :

Example verb : takeI / You / We / They / He / She / It
Positive...'ll take ...
Negative... won't take ...
QuestionsWill ... take ...?
Short answers

Yes, ... will. /

No, ... won't.

Will + Infinitive Examples Sentences :

Positive Examples of Will + Infinitive :

  • I'll have the steak, please. (decision)
  • The phone's ringing. I'll answer it. (offer)
  • I'm sure you'll have a great time. (prediction)
  • I'll always love you. (promise)
  • I'll be forty this year! (fact)

Negative Examples of Will + Infinitive :

  • I won't pass the exam. (prediction)
  • I won't tell anyone. (promise)
  • She won't tell me her name. (decision)
  • The president will not visit Russia during this trip. (fact)

Question Examples of Will + Infinitive :

  • Shall I open the window? (offer)
  • Shall we see a movie tonight? (suggestion)
  • Do you think she will pass her driving test? (prediction)
  • Will John turn 50 this year? (fact)

Notes for use of will + infinitive :

The future of there is/are = there will be

The future of I can = I'll be able to NOT I'll can.

In English we often use "I think" and "I don't think" with will.

eg. I think he'll fail the exam / I don't think he'll pass the exam.

NOT I think he won't pass the exam.

In English, when an offer is a question, we use Shall I...? or Shall we...? (NOT will)

eg. Shall I call you tonight? Shall we pick you up at 7pm?

In English we often use definitely and probably with will/won't.

eg. Jo will definitely pass the exam.

Lara probably won't be able to take a holiday this summer.


Future Form : ( Am / is / are + verb + -ing )

In English we can use 'be going to' or present continuous for future plans.

'Be going to' shows you have made a decision.

eg. We're going to get married in the spring.

Present continuous emphasizes that you have made the arrangements.

eg. We're getting married on May 5th.


Notes for use of present continuous :

In English we usually use present continuous when we have made an arrangement with another person. They are the kind of arrangements you would write in a diary. We can always use 'be going to' instead of present continuous. 

The table below shows the different forms of present continuous :

Example verb : meetIYou / We / TheyHe / She / It
PositiveI'm meeting ......'re meeting ......'s meeting ...
NegativeI'm not meeting ...... aren't meeting ...... isn't meeting ...
QuestionsAm I meeting ...?Are ... meeting ...?Is ... meeting ...?
Short answers

Yes, I am. /

No, I'm not.

Yes, ... are. /

No, ... aren't.

Yes, ... is. /

No, ... isn't.

Present Continuous Example Sentences :

Positive Examples of Present Continuous :

  • I'm seeing the doctor at 2pm tomorrow. (I have an appointment)
  • We're meeting Anna for breakfast on Saturday. (We've made an arrangement with Anna) 
  • They're flying to London tomorrow. (They've booked the tickets)

Negative Examples of Present Continuous :

  • I'm not staying in a hotel when I visit London next summer.
  • We aren't taking a holiday this year.
  • She isn't coming to the party tonight.

Question Examples of Present Continuous :

  • Where are you going next weekend?
  • When is she seeing the doctor?
  • Is he meeting John on Monday?


Future Form : ( Base form (verb 1) )

In English we use present simple to talk about fixed events on a timetable or a calendar.

The table below shows the different forms present simple :

Example verb : leaveI / You / We / TheyHe / She / It

Positive

... leave ...... leaves ...
Negative... don't leave ...... doesn't leave ...
QuestionsDo ... leave ...?Does ... leave ...?
Short answers

Yes, ... do. /

No, ... don't.

Yes, ... does. /

No, ... doesn't.

Present Simple Example Sentences :

Positive Examples of Present Simple :

  • The conference starts at 9am on Monday.
  • The train leaves from platform 5 at 9:40am. 
  • The post office opens at 8.30am.

Negative Examples of Present Simple :

  • The match doesn't start until 7pm tonight.
  • I don't start work until 12.00 on Wednesdays.
  • The flight doesn't take off until midnight.

Question Examples of Present Simple :

  • What time does the game start?
  • When does the train leave?
  • Does the lesson start at 9am?

Future example sentences
Nope, I don't like boiled chicken, I'm going to fry it.
Okay, so I'll go home and change my clothes, etcetera.
Then we're going to go to Brighton Pier, etcetera.
Are you going to add anything before I close the lid?
'Cause I'm going to be working all day long tomorrow.
I'll have a shower and I'll need to take Bear out, as well.
I'll be back to take your order shortly!
Renting a house in the centre is going to double what we pay now.
Thank you very much Mrs. Jones, see you on Saturday.
I suppose they are going to take the tube.
Okay, are you going to cook chicken tonight?
Okay, I'll look for some wine.
Almost... I won't unpack the big one with my winter clothes in it.
Yeah, no problem, I'm going to wash all the vegetables now.
We are staying, but Diego is going to leave soon.
Don't worry! I know exactly what I'm going to say.
Sorry, I saw some parmesan, I'll check it out.
I'm in a lesson, call you when I finish xxxo
I'll bring Bear over to you slowly.
I'll go and get a trolley.


Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Comparative
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
Expression
First conditional
Future
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
Future perfect simple
Future simple passive
Greeting
Have/Get something done
Imperative
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Interjection
Mixed conditional
Modal
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Other
Past continuous
Past continuous passive
Past perfect continuous
Past perfect passive
Past perfect simple
Past simple
Past simple passive
Polite request / offer / suggestion
Present continuous
Present continuous passive
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect passive
Present perfect simple
Present simple
Present simple passive
Question tag
Reduced relative clause
Reported speech imperative
Reported speech question
Reported speech request
Reported speech statement
Second conditional
Short answer
Superlative
Third conditional
Used to / would (past habit)
Was/were going to
Was/were supposed to
Wish
Would rather
Zero conditional