Future 1

What is it for? When should we not use it?

There are many ways in fact, and it becomes complicated.

However, the differences are subtle and the effect is negligible.

Do not proceed until you understand each part!

  1. Future vs Continuous action
  2. Plans
  3. Decisions I
  4. Decision II
  5. Opinions / Predictions
  6. Future Perfect

1. Future simple: an action in the future

Example: I will buy that game!

This action starts in the future.

Future simple
(subject) + will + (infinitive without to)

I will see Andy tomorrow.  Terry will be there.

Do not use the to-infinitive
O: I’ll buy that DLC
X: I’ll to buy that DLC

This is an action that will happen in the future. We are 100% sure.

More examples:

  • It’s Monday today, it will be Tuesday tomorrow.
  • The results will arrive soon.
  • I’ll be there for you

Future continuous: an action that continues at a time in the future

Describe a subject in the middle of an action.

Example: Don’t call me at midnight, I’ll be sleeping!

The action started before the time and will finish after. It is active at this time. It is continuing.

(Subject) + will be + (ing verb form)

Don’t call me between 7.30 and 8.30, I’ll be having dinner.

I can’t watch the tournament at 4pm, I’ll be working!

Locations

For locations it’s not necessary to express the action, we can guess.

At 8.30 I’ll be on the bus ( I’ll be sitting on the bus)

I’ll be in bed

I’ll be in the bath

I’ll be in…. the cinema, the pool, the beach, the mountains, the theatre, the restaurant…

Questions

What will you do at 7pm? = The action starts at 7pm

What will you be doing at 7pm? = The action started before and will finish after 7pm.

If you want to ask about an action that continues at a specific time, use future continuous.

Summary

The future simple is used to talk about an action that starts in the future. (It does not express plans)

You see a great offer online. You say “I’ll buy that!”

You see a nice item on the menu: “I’ll have that!”

Your friend says he has lost his wallet: “Do you need some cash? I’ll lend you some!”

After arranging an event: “OK, I’ll see you then!”

The future continuous shows an action that continues in the future. The speaker is in the middle of the action. (It does not express plans)

I’ll be playing a game at midday so I won’t be free , please don’t disturb me.

I’ll play a game at midday = I will start a game at midday.

When using the continuous, there is a focus on the action.  The image of the action is presented.

Hmmm no I can’t, I’ll be visiting my parents then.

I’ll be cleaning the car between 3 and 4 pm.

Reminder: for some locations it’s not necessary to express the action:

I’ll be in the garden, just go round the back!

TEST ON FUTURE SIMPLE and CONTINUOUS

NEXT:

  1. Future vs Continuous action
  2. Plans
  3. Decisions I
  4. Decision II
  5. Opinions / Predictions
  6. Future Perfect

Credits / Sources:

Cambridge English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy
Cambridge CELTA

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