March 17, 2016

How to Use the Future Tense Correctly in English

3 minute read

There are lots of ways you can thin about the future, and you’re probably familiar with some of them!

You might want to describe something you’re about to do very soon, or you may want to share your hopes and plans for the years ahead. While both describe the future, they do it differently, so it’s important to make sure you know how to use the future tense in the correct way!

Read on to find out more about the different ways to use the future.

Using the simple future

Are you planning to do something at a specific time in the future? You can use the simple future tense for that!

There are two ways to use the simple future tense: you can use either “will” or “be going to”. Let’s look at some examples to see them in action:

“I will send you some information later today.”

“I am going to travel more after I finish studying.”

You can use “will” to describe an event you are voluntarily going to do in the future, or to show that you have agreed to do something for someone. You can also use it in its negative form to show that you do not agree to do something.

For example:

“He will come to the dinner party tomorrow.”

“They will not be joining us later.”

“Be going to” can be used to express when you have a plan to do something, and can indicate what you intend to do – even though you may not actually do it.

For example:

“We are going to book a holiday to France this summer.”

You can also use “will” and “be going to” to express a prediction for something you think will happen in the future, especially if you think it is likely to take place.

“Next week is going to be very interesting.”

“They will make a great couple.”

Using the future continuous

The future continuous is a little different from the simple future – even though it might look quite similar at first glance!

In this form, you can use “will be doing” and “be going to be doing” to express an event in the future. You use the future continuous to describe an event that takes place in the future – as part of another longer future event.

Sounds complicated? Let’s look at some examples!

“I will be going to the cinema after I get home from work.”

“They’re going to be staying in the Ritz when they visit London.”

There are two important parts of the future continuous: you use the future continuous tense to describe the future event that will be taking place, and you also use the simple present tense to describe the secondary event that will happen during it.

You can also use descriptions of time as an alternative way to use the future continuous. For example:

“She will be landing in Australia at midnight tonight.”

Your turn

The future tense is really important to use in English – after all, everyone wants to be able to express their plans and hopes! So make sure that you get lots of practice – try writing some examples of things you plan to do in the future, or describe what you think may happen!