In this English grammar lesson you will learn how we use the present simple tense when we talk about the future.
Now, I imagine you are all familiar with other future tenses in English like ‘going to’ and ‘will’, right?
They are the more common future tenses in English. However, we can also use the present simple to talk about the future.
There are three main ways to use the present simple as a future tense.
Timetables and programmes
The most common use is in timetables and programmes. Take a look at these sentences:
- His plane leaves at 7am tomorrow morning.
- The play starts at 8pm.
- Her train gets in at 4.45pm so we have time to have lunch beforehand.
All of the events above are happening because they a re scheduled to happen at a particular time in the future.
Another time we use the present simple tense with a future meaning is in conditional clauses after if, unless, or provided.
Take a look at the following sentences:
- You won’t miss the bus if you leave now.
- I will call you tomorrow unless you tell me not to.
- She will forgive you provided you say you are sorry.
As you can see, we use the present simple after the conjunctions.
Adverbial clauses with time conjunctions
In a similar way to the conditional clauses, we use the present simple as a future tense after time conjunctions like when, until, before in adverbial clauses.
Take a look at these sentences:
- Please remain seated until the doctor calls you.
- Don’t call her before she calls you.
- You can have some ice-cream when you finish your dinner.
So there you have it, three ways we can use the present tense to talk about the future.
Here’s another English lesson for you to study.
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