Tips on Future Tense


Grammar Tips

Grammar Tips


When speaking about events in the future, the most common verb to use is “will.”  For example:  I will go to sleep this evening.  However, did you know that there are other ways to express future actions without using “will?”  Let’s look at some other ways.

A Decision Made Now To Do Something in the Future

Will / Won’t

This form expresses an intention when we make a decision now to do something in the future.  An example of this could be:  I won’t go to the movies tonight.  I feel sick. Or: She’ll (she will) try to leave early so that she isn’t late for the meeting.

A Decision That Was Already Made Before

(be) going to + infinitive

In this future form, we express an intention when a decision was already made before.  For example:  Mike is going to open a bicycle shop in Los Angeles.  Or:  They are going to establish new laws at the beginning of the year. 

Arrangements for Things To Happen at a Fixed Time in the Future

The present continuous

This Future form talks about arrangements for things to happen at a fixed time in the future.  For example: I am leaving the company.  Or: We are driving to Kansas City at 7pm tomorrow.

More than “Will”

As you can see, there is more than one way to express the future depending on the situation.  Below, we have provided some sentences for you to practice.  You can check your progress by looking at the answers at the end of this post.  Good Luck.

Section One Practice

Complete the sentences with the appropriate form of the verbs in brackets.

  1. I (travel)__________ to Miami tomorrow at 6am. (Fixed arrangement)
  2. I (present) _____________ all of the slides after my meeting. (intention, decision now)
  3. I want to increase internet traffic to my web-site, so I (create) __________ a new marketing campaign.  (intention, decision made)

Section Two Practice

Complete the dialog with the appropriate form of the verbs in brackets. In some cases, more than one answer is possible.

  1. Can you come to my house for coffee at 9? We (discuss) _________ the plans for the new data base and we need your input.
  2. I’m afraid I can’t.  I (leave) _________ for Seattle tonight.  I (attend) _________ the new market leader’s convention.
  3.  When (you, come back) __________?
  4. Next week.  I (stay) ___________ until Sunday.
  5. I hope you have a good time.  I (tell) __________ the team you can’t make it.

Answers

Section One:

  1. I’m (am) traveling to Miami tomorrow at 6am. (Fixed arrangement)
  2. I will (I’ll) present all of the slides after my meeting. (intention, decision now)
  3. I want to increase internet traffic to my web-site, so I am (I’m) going to create a new marketing campaign.  (intention, decision made)

Section Two:

A.   Can you come to my house for coffee at 9? We are (We’re) discussing (we are going to discuss) the plans for the new data base and we need your input.

B.   I’m afraid I can’t.  I’m (I am) leaving for Seattle tonight.  I’m (I am) going to attend the new market leader’s convention.

A.  When are you coming back?

B.   Next week.  I’m (I am) staying (I am going to stay) until Sunday.

A.  I hope you have a good time.  I’ll (I will) tell the team you can’t make it.

About englishworkshopmexico

My name is James. I work as a teacher and marketer with English Workshop in Mexico City. We provide Business English courses to aspiring people who are looking to move up the career ladder or simply become more international. I have been with English Workshop for around two years and I very much enjoy the teaching and marketing profession.
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