In today’s English grammar tutorial you will learn how we use future tenses in English. This lesson is for intermediate level students and above.
Planned or fixed events
When we talk about planned or fixed events in the future we can use:
going to – things already decided or an intention
- I am going to buy some new jeans. These ones have holes in them.
- Paul is going to study Spanish next year in Madrid.
present continuous – already made personal arrangements
- I am meeting John for lunch tomorrow.
- Paul is playing tennis on Saturday.
Present simple – Timetables or programmes.
- The train leaves at 7am on Friday.
- English classes finish at the end of the month.
Be + ‘to’- formal official arrangements.
- The CEO is to give a speech on Friday.
- We are to meet him after lunch to discuss business.
be due to – expected to happen at a particular time.
- The meeting is due to begin at 10am.
- We are due to get a pay rise after summer.
When we talk about unplanned events we use will or shall (spontaneous decisions, offers, promises requests, refusals).
- We have run out of milk. I will go to the shop and get some more.
- Your glass is empty. Shall I pour you some more wine?
For predictions we use:
going to – Germany is going to win the World Cup.
will/shall – Michael will fail his exam. He hasn’t studied enough.
We use about to for events that are close to happening.
- It is about to rain.
- I am about to take a shower.
When we talk about how sure we are about something (probability) we use:
be + (un) likely.
- I am likely to get a promotion next year.
- They are unlikely to win the championship without their best player.
- We may be a little late for dinner this evening.
So there you go. That is how we use these future tenses in English.
Here’s another English grammar lesson for you to study.
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