Future Time Shihab Uddin Ahmad
Definite Arrangement We use the Present Continuous to talk about definite arrangements for the future – something we have already decided on for the future. Sorry, I can’t help you. I’m leaving in the morning.
Beth: Do you want to go to the beach tomorrow? • Jenny: I’d love to, but not before 4 o’clock. • Beth: Why? What are you doing in the morning? • Jenny: Oh, I’m doing a million things. At 8 o’clock I’mgoing to the dentist. Then I’mmeeting my mother and helping her with the shopping. After that I’mtaking my dog to the vet and rushing back to meet Sarah at the airport.
Schedules and timetables We use the Present Simple to talk about schedules or timetables in the future. The bus leaves at midnight and arrives in Edinburgh at five. The concert tonight starts at 8.30. What time does the plane land?
Plans and Intentions We use going to + infinitive to talk about future plans or intentions – something we have a plan for. I’mgoing to fix television tomorrow. Why are you going to buy a new bike?
Present Continuous / going to When it is clear that we mean the future, the Present Continuous and going to + infinitive are often interchangeable. But generally we use the Present Continuous to show that something has been arranged for the future, while we use going to to show that we intend to do something in the future.
We are travelling around Europe after we finish school. We’ve already bought the tickets. (ARRANGEMENT) • We are going to travel around Europe after we finish school. At least that’s what we plan to do. (INTENTION)
Without a time context the choice of the Present Continuous or going to changes the meaning. • I hear that Josh is travelling round the world. (PRESENT) • I hear that Josh is going to travel round the world. (FUTURE)
Predictions from Evidence We also use going to +infinitive for predictions, often about the near future. Usually there is some evidence in the present situation that tells us about the future. • Henry hasn’t studied at all. He’sgoing to fail the exam tomorrow. • Look at those clouds. It’sgoing to rain.
Near Future Intentions or Predictions We can use to be about to + infinitive for intentions and predictions about the very near future. We often use the word just to show even greater immediacy. • I’m just about to leave. Can I phone you back? • I think we should get inside quickly. It’sabout to rain.
Note the difference: • Jim is going to dive into the pool. (SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE) • Jim is about to dive into the pool. (IMMEDIATELY)
Decisions Made at the Moment When, at the moment of speaking, we decide to do something in the future, or express willingness to do so, we use the Future Simple (will + infinitive). Contractions are common with will: I will =I’ll he will =he’ll we will = we’ll they will = they’ll
Examples • I’ve forgotten to buy bread. I’llgo out again to get some for you. • Would you like tea or coffee? – I’ll have coffee, please. Promise/Offer: • I’ll phone you as soon as I get back. • I’ll help you with your work tonight.
Interrogative and Negative Forms Will I/he/she/it/we/you/they come? will not = won’t I/He/She/It/ We/You/They won’t come.
Speculations and Guesses We use will (Future Simple) to make speculations and guesses about things we can’t control in the future. • There will be big changes in this country over the next few years. • I have a feeling that your brother willwin first place. • Do you think our team will win the cup?
Formal English: Definite Plan We use will to talk about definite plans in formal situations. • The Managing Director of the company will visit this country next month. He will bring with him his deputy, Mr. Rosse. In everyday English we use the Present Continuous for definite plans.
Willor going to? • If at the time of speaking we decide about something in the future, we use will. • Do we have any cola? – No, we don’t, but I’ll get some later. • I’ve decided. I’ll have the salad plate.
Willor going to? cont. • For many predictions we can use either will or going to. • According to the weather report, it will be /is going to be cold next week.
Shall Shall can be used instead of will with I and we, especially in more formal English. Shall is more frequent in British English. • I shall be there at 10 o’clock. shall not = shan’t • We shan’t be able to come.
In British English shall / shan’t can also be used for: • Shall I bring some tea? (offer) • Shall we meet at eight? (suggestion) • I’m lost. What shall I do? (asking for advice) • I shan’t do anything till I hear from you. (promise)
The Future Continuous We use will be + …ingfor an activity that will be in progress at a time in the future. • Next year, Ruth will be studying art in Paris. • I’llbe waiting for you at the entrance at 2 o’clock.
The Future Continuous We use will be + …ingfor questions about people’s future plans, especially when we want something or want someone to do something. • Will you be going to the bank this afternoon? • Will you be using the car this evening?
The Future Perfect We use will have + past participle (The Future Perfect) for something that will be completed or will have happened before another action at a certain time in the future. • By this time next week, I will have finished all my exams.
More examples • Next year I will have been here for 10 years. (Now I have been here for 9 years.) • I can’t hand in my project next week. I won’t have finished it by then. • By the time you get here, we’llhave done all the work.
Note the difference: • This time next week I’llbe doing my exams. (I’ll be in the middle) • This time next week I’ll have done my exams. (I won’t have any more exams.)
The Future Perfect Continuous We use will have been + …ing (The Future Perfect Continuous) to emphasize the length of time that an action or an event will have been in progress up to a future point of time. • In five minutes I will have been sitting here for two hours.
Choose the most suitable tense. • Do you want to go out tomorrow night? I’ll phone / I’m phoning you later to let you know when we can meet. • Joan will have /is going to have a baby. She has just told me the news. • Are you hot? Will / Shall I open the window?
Answers • Do you want to go out tomorrow night? I’ll phone you later to let you know when we can meet. • Joan is going to have a baby. She has just told me the news. • Are you hot? Shall I open the window?
Choose the most suitable tense. • Please don’t phone at 9 o’clock. I am watching / I will be watching something interesting on television. • I wonder what we will be doing / will dothis time next year. • I hope I am finishing / will have finished this book by this time next year.
Answers • Please don’t phone at 9 o’clock. I will be watching something interesting on television. • I wonder what we will be doing this time next year. • I hope I will have finished this book by this time next year.
Choose the most suitable tense. • I will go / am goingto Canada in the summer. I’ve already got my tickets. • We’re late. The film is starting / will have started by the time we get there. • When will the doctor be free? You told me that it wouldn’t take long, but soon I will have been waiting / will wait for an hour.
Answers • I am goingto Canada in the summer. I’ve already got my tickets. • We’re late. The film will have started by the time we get there. • When will the doctor be free? You told me that it wouldn’t take long, but soon I will have been waiting for an hour.
Choose the most suitable tense. • My cousin will come /is coming to visit London. I haven’t decided where to take her, but I think I’ll take /I’m taking her for the tour of the north. • The bus will have left / is about to leave. Hurry up! • He hasn’t studied at all. He is failing / is going to fail this exam.
Answers • My cousin is coming to visit London. I haven’t decided where to take her, but I think I’ll take her for the tour of the north. • The bus is about to leave. Hurry up! • He hasn’t studied at all. He is going to fail this exam.
The Temporals(time words and expressions) In a sentence about the future we do not use will after when or other temporals in the time clause. Instead, we use the present tense, usually the Present Simple. • I will come out when you ring the bell. • What will she do after she hears the news?
The temporals are: when after before as soon as until / till by the time once the moment (that) immediately while While can be followed by the Present Continuous: • I’ll finish this letter while you’re reading the paper.
Examples: • As soon as he receives the results, he’llleave for London. • You must stop writing the moment I tell you. • She won’t talk to you till you apologise. • By the time we arrive, you’llhave been there for hours.
Complete the sentences using the verbs in brackets in their correct form. • We’ll leave for home as soon as it (stop) __ raining. • What will you do after you (leave) __ school? • We are leaving the moment Jo (arrive) __ . • Don’t do anything before the police officer (tell) __ us what to do.
Answers • We’ll leave for home as soon as it stops raining. • What will you do after you leave school? • We are leaving the moment Jo arrives. • Don’t do anything before the police officer tells us what to do.
Complete the sentences using the verbs in brackets in their correct form. • Can you look after the baby while I (go) __ to the shops? • By the time we (get) __ there, all the food will be gone. • Please phone me immediately you (get) __ home. • You must go straight home after the party (end) __.
Answers • Can you look after the baby while I go / am going to the shops? • By the time we get there, all the food will be gone. • Please phone me immediately you get home. • You must go straight home after the party ends.
The Present Perfect can also be used after the temporals. This emphasizes that something will be finished before another action happens. • Don’t give Jane the present till Terry has left. • When you’veseen the video, I’ll borrow it. • I’ll wait here untilyou have finished.