EXPRESSING FUTURE TIMES IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR
There are several ways to talk about the future in english. This is a complicated area of grammar: the differences between the meanings and uses of the different structures are not easy to analyse and describe clearly. In many, but not all situations, two or more structure are possible with similar meanings.
The followings are several structure using to express future times:
v Using will/shall
Form: will/shall+infinitive (v1) without to
Some british people use I shall and we shall instead of i/we will, with no difference of meaning in most situations. Shall is unusual in American English in most situations.
· Giving information about the future
· Predicting of future events, to say what we think, guess or calculate will happen. E.g Tomorrow will be warm, with some cloud in the afternoon, I shall be rich one day, who do you think will win on Saturday?
· Expressing conditional ideas, to say what will happen if something else happen. E.g he’ll have an accident if he goes on driving like that, if the weather is fine, we’ll have the party in the garden.
· Expressing interpersonal meaning such as requests, offers, orders, threats and promises. E.g I’ll kill you!
v Using be going to
Form: tobe+going to+infinitive
§ Talking about plans, emphasize the idea of intention or a decision that has already been made. E.g we’re going to get a new car soon, john says he’s going to phone this evening.
§ Predicting the future on the basis of present evidence. E.g Sandra is going to have a baby in june, look at the sky, it’s going to rain
§ Insisting that people do things or do not things. E.g you’re not going to play football in my garden.
§ Emphatic refusals. E.g I’m not going to sit up all night listening to your problem.
v Using present progressive
Form: tobe+v ing
§ Expressing an action that have some present reality, most common in personal arrangement and fixed plans, when time and place has been decided. E.g I’m seeing larry on Saturday, what are we having for dinner?, we’re traveling around mexico next summer
§ Using with verb of movement, to talk about actions which are just starting. E.g are you coming out to the pub?, get your coat on! I’m taking you down to the doctor.
v Simple present
§ Talking about events which are part of a timetable, a regular schedule or something similar. E.g the summer term starts on april 10th, my plane leaves at three o’clock.
§ Subordinate clauses. E.g I’ll tell you what I find out, she’ll pay us back when she gets job
§ Asking for and giving instructions. E.g well, what do we do now, where do I play