How to Express Future Time in English
The English language has past and present tenses, but it does not have a future tense. To say what will happen in the future, you can use the modal auxiliary ‘will’ or ‘shall’ (plus the base form of the main verb), the verb phrase be going to , the present simple or the present progressive. There are times when one is preferred over the others.
‘Will’ and ‘shall’ are in many ways the easiest to use because of their simple structure, but they can also be easy to confuse. We use ‘will’ to describe the future and to make predictions. Examples: I will send you some information later today. There will be another hot day in Kerala tomorrow. ‘Will’ is also used to make questions, requests, promises and offers. Example: Will you come to the dance with me?
What is the difference between ‘shall’ and ‘will’? In the past, ‘shall’ was often used as an alternative to ‘will’. But in modern English we usually prefer ‘will’ for affirmative and negative sentences. However, we still use ‘shall’ to form questions with ‘I’ and ‘we’, especially in British English. Examples: Shall I help you with the housework? Shall I open the window?
In English, we often use the present progressive (be + verb + ing) to talk about future events which have already been planned. Time words in the sentence, such as next week, next year, tomorrow, etc., make it clear that the action is not happening at this moment.Example: What are you doing on Saturday night? I’m meeting my parents. We often use ‘be going to’ to talk about something in the future which we can see as a result of something in the present. Example: Look at the black clouds in the sky. It is going to rain. ‘Be going to’ is also used to express intention in the future. Examples: She’s going to have a shower.I am going to travel more after I finish studying.
The present simple tense is used to talk about future events that have been scheduled.Examples: The aeroplane arrives at 4.30 pm. The next termbeginson 16th September. In future tense we often use the expression ‘about to’ to denote something that will happen very soon. Example: Hurry up. The programme is about to start.
Fill in the blanks with the most appropriate verb forms
1.The aeroplane …..at 4.30 pm.
a) arrive b) arrives c) will arrive d) has arrived
2. I will call you when I……back.
a)will come b)comes c)come d)had come
3.What…….on Saturday night? I am meeting my parents.
a)are you doing b)will you do c)shall you do d)you will be doing
4.Look at the black clouds in the sky. It ……. rain.
a)will b)shall c)will be d)is going to
5. She …….a shower.
a)will have b)shall have c)is going to have d)will be having
6.I …….you some information later today.
a)will send b)shall send c)will be sending d)am sending
7. I ……travel more after I finish studying.
a)will b)am going to c)shall d)am planning to
8.We………the Smiths this evening.
a)visit b)visits c)are visiting d)will visit
9.Perhaps we……our grandparents this week.
a)will visit b)visit c)will be visiting are going to visit.
10.The next term…….on 16th September.
a)begin b)will begin c)will be beginning d)begins
11.I am sure, he …..
a)come b)comes c)will come d)will be coming
12.I …….you one of these days.
a)will see b)will be seeing c)see d)going to see
13.Hurry up. The programme ……..
a)will start b)is about to start c)will be starting d)is going to start
14.My plane….at 3:00pm on Sunday.
a)will leave b)will be leaving c)leaves d)is about to leave
15.I ……you if you say that word again.
a)will hit b)shall hit c)will be hitting d)am going to hit
16.I think Indian cricket team….the World Cup.
a)will be winning b)is about to win c)is going to win d)will win
17……I help you with the housework?
a)will b)shall c)may d)would
18.There …..another hot day in Kerala tomorrow.
a)is going to be b)is c)will be d)shall be
19……open the window?
a)will b)may c)would d)shall
20……you come to the dance with me?
a)will b)shall c)would d)may
Answers: 1) b, 2)c, 3)a, 4)d, 5)c, 6)a, 7)b, 8)c, 9)a, 10)d, 11)c, 12)d, 13)b, 14)c, 15)a, 16)d, 17)b, 18)c, 19)d, 20)a.