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Talking about the future


English doesn't have a future tense, but there are many ways we can talk about the future.

Here are some examples:

1. Look at those clouds, it's going to rain.
2. I'm meeting Yoko for a drink this evening.
3. I'm going to emigrate to Australia next year.
4. You'll need a visa if you want to work in Japan.
5. This time next week I'll be flying to Japan.
6. Stay there, I'll answer the phone.
7. The train arrives at 1608.
8. By Christmas I'll have been working here for ten years.
9. England will beat Italy 1-0.
10. I'll have driven 350 miles by this evening.

These sentences use the following grammatical forms:

future simple (will ....)

going to

present continuous

simple present

future continuous

future perfect

future perfect continuous

Please try to match the sentences with the grammatical forms.

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Now try to work out the rules - the first one is done for you:

To talk about ...........

We use .....

1. Future personal arrangements / fixed plans

present continuous

2. Something that will be completed by some future time

3. Predictions based on opinion (no evidence)

4. Prediction based on present evidemce

5. Plans, decisions, firm intentions (informal)

6. Timetabled / scheduled events

7. Spontaneous decisions

8. How long something will have continued for at a
future time

9. General information about the future

10. Something in progress at a certain future time

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Finally, please complete these sentences
(the verb you need is in brackets, you just have to put it in the correct form)

1. Germany ..... the 1998 World Cup. (win)
2. By the time we get to Scotland I ..... for six hours. (drive)
3. I ..... your money by Friday if you want to come on the trip. (need)
4. They are ..... their own business. (start)
5. Look Out! We ..... (crash)
6. Good luck with the exam. I ..... of you. (think)
7. I .... 50 pages by this evening. (write)
8. The sun ..... at 5:07am (rise)
9. I ..... my hair this evening. (wash)
10. What shall I do tonight? Ah! I know, I ..... to the cinema. (go)

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