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Simple Future Tense

Simple Future Tense

Simple future tense is one of the ways in which the future time is indicated in English. The form of the simple future tense is will/shall + the root form of the verb. Usually, I and we are used with shall, whereas they, she, he, it etc. are used with will.

Uses

1. The simple present tense is used to talk about things, which we cannot control. It expresses the future as a fact.

Examples:
I shall be twenty next Saturday.
It will be Diwali in a week.
We will know our exam results in May.

2. The simple present tense is used to talk about what we think or believe will happen in the future.

Examples:
I think England will win the match.
I am sure Helen will get a first class.
As in the above sentences, we often use this tense with I think, and I’m sure. We also say I expect …………., I believe……………., probably …………., etc.

3. The simple present tense is used when we decide to do something at the time of speaking.

Examples:
It is raining. I will take an umbrella.
Sam is busy at the moment. I’ll wait for him at the lobby.

'Going to' to indicate future time

The future time is also expressed with ‘going to’.

1. We use the ‘going to’ form to indicate future time when we have decided to do something before talking about it. The form is be going to + the root form of the verb.

Examples:
“Why do you want to sell your motorbike?”
“I’m going to buy a car.”
Remember that if the action is already decided upon and preparations have been made, we should use the going to form, not the simple future tense. The simple future tense is used for an instant decision.

2. We also use the going to form to talk about what seems likely or certain, when there is something in the present, which tells us about the future.

Examples:
It is going to rain; look at those clouds.
The boat is full of water. It is going to sink.
She is going to have a baby.

3. The going to form may also express an action, which is on the point of happening.

Examples:
Let’s get into the train. It’s going to leave.
Look! The cracker is going to explode.

'Be about to' to indicate future time

Be about to+ root form of the verb can also be used for the immediate future.

Examples:
Let us get into the train. It’s about to leave.
Don’t go out now. We are about to have lunch.

Simple present tense to indicate future time

1. The simple present tense is used for official programmes and timetables.

Examples:
The college opens on 23rd June.
When does the next train leave?

2. The simple present tense is often used for future time in clauses with if, unless, when, while, as, before, after, until, by the time, and as soon as. The simple future tense is not used in such cases.

Examples:
I won’t go out if it rains.
Please ring me up as soon as he comes.

Present continuous tense to indicate future time

We use the present continuous tense when we talk about something that we have planned to do in the future. It is advised to use the present continuous (not simple present) for personal arrangements.

Examples:
I am going to Paris tomorrow.
We are eating out tonight.

Worksheet

  • The plane …………… at 3.30 pm. (arrives, will arrive)
  • I will phone you when he …………….. back. (comes, will come)
  • I ……………… the Lees this evening. (visit, am visiting)
  • Look at those black clouds. It …………………. rain. (will, is going to)
  • I am sure she …………………. the exam. (passes, will pass)
  • Unless we ………………. now we can’t be on time. (will start, start)
  • I ………………… home next Sunday. (go, am going)
  • Help! I ……………………… fall. (will, am going to)
  • The next term ………………….. on 16th November. (begins, is going to begin)
  • Oh dear! I …………………….. sneeze. (am going to, will)

Answers

  • The plane arrives at 3.30 pm.
  • I will phone you when he comes back.
  • I am visiting the Lees this evening.
  • Look at those black clouds. It is going to rain.
  • I am sure she will pass the exam.
  • Unless we start now we can’t be on time.
  • I am going home next Sunday.
  • Help! I am going to fall.
  • The next term begins on 16th November.
  • Oh dear! I am going to sneeze.


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