Grammar Reminder: The Future Tense

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When we want to use the future tense in English, we use the words -will or -will not. Will not is often shortened to won’t.  You can also shorten will after subject pronouns. For example, I will become I’ll and we will become we’ll.

Will is used to talk about:

  • Predictions
  • Promises
  • Offers
  • Decisions

Predictions with the future tense

  • Yes, I’m sure you will pass your exam
  • I expect the food will be delicious
  • I think tomorrow will be sunny

Promises with the future tense

  • We will send you the documents in the post
  • I will meet you tomorrow at 3pm
  • I will buy you a big birthday present

Offers with the future tense

  • I’ll help you move your stuff on Monday
  • He will leave her a message
  • They said they will look after the dog

Decisions with the future tense

  • I think I’ll have the Turkey for lunch
  • I’ll take the blue paint
  • She’ll get the 2pm bus

When we use the negative will becomes won’t and for questions we use will:

  • Will you be able to come tomorrow?
  • What will you need for the picnic?
  • When will you get here?

Another word we use in the future tense is shall. It’s not used as much nowadays, but it is used with I and we:

  • I shall need a few more boxes
  • We shall get in touch soon

Both these sentences can also be used with will and most people tend to do this. However, we might hear shall when someone is talking about an invitation or an offer. For example:

  • Shall I give you a call tomorrow?
  • Shall I open the window now?

There are other ways of talking about the future too. They include the use of the present continuous if you are making arrangements with someone. For example:

  • William is coming on Thursday

Going to – is also used when you are talking about an intention:

  • I’m going to bake a cake later

We hope this useful tips will be a good reminder for you about the future tense.

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