1. When we know about the future we normally use the present tense.

  • We use the present simple for something scheduled or arranged:

We have a lesson next Monday.
The train arrives at 6.30 in the morning.
The holidays start next week.
It is my birthday tomorrow.

  • We can use the present continuous for plans or arrangements:

I’m playing football tomorrow.
They are coming to see us tomorrow.
We’re having a party at Christmas.

2. We use will to talk about the future:

  • When we make predictions:

It will be a nice day tomorrow.
I think Brazil will win the World Cup.
I’m sure you will enjoy the film.

  • To mean want to or be willing to:

I hope you will come to my party.
George says he will help us.

  • To make offers and promises:

I'll see you tomorrow.
We'll send you an email.

  • To talk about offers and promises:

Tim will be at the meeting.
Mary will help with the cooking.

3. We use (be) going to:

  • To talk about plans and intentions:

I’m going to drive to work today.
They are going to move to Manchester.

  • When we can see that something is likely to happen:

Be careful! You are going to fall.
Look at those black clouds. I think it’s going to rain.


4. We often use verbs like would like, plan, want, mean, hope, expect to talk about the future:

What are you going to do next year? I’d like to go to University.
We plan to go to France for our holidays.
George wants to buy a new car.

5. We use modals may, might, and could when we are not sure about the future:

I might stay at home tonight, or I might go to the cinema.
We could see Mary at the meeting. She sometimes goes.

6. We can use should if we think something is likely to happen:

We should be home in time for tea.
The game should be over by eight o’clock.

7. Clauses with time words:

In clauses with time words like when, after, and until we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

I’ll come home when I finish work.
You must wait here until your father comes.
They are coming after they have had dinner.

8. Clauses with if:

In clauses with if we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

We won’t be able to go out if it rains.
If Barcelona win tomorrow they will be champions.

WARNING: We do not normally use will in clauses with if or with time words:

I’ll come home when I will finish work.
We won’t be able to go out if it will rain rains.

But we can use will if it means a promise or offer:

I will be very happy if you will come to my party.
We should finish the job early if George will help us.

9. We can use the future continuous instead of the present continuous or going to for emphasis when we are talking about plans, arrangements and intentions:

They’ll be coming to see us next week.
I will be driving to work tomorrow.

 

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello Zain Shapiro,

Yes, that sentence is perfectly fine. We can use adverbs of frequency like 'always' and 'forever' with continuous forms. It generally suggests that we do not like the action being described:

She's always criticising me.

My boss is forever asking me to work overtime.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

choose
The movie is very interesting I'm sure you(will-are going to)enjoy it.

Hello Adiliii,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to tasks and questions from elsewhere. If we did then we would end up doing everyone's homework and tests for them!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

The statement is showing something which is not sure in future. And there are two complete statements.
We could see Mary at the meeting. She sometimes goes.
If I mention one statement : We could see Mary at the meeting.
Then what does it convey? Is it - Mary was surely seen in the meeting which happened in the past???
And if it is yes, then isn't it odd an entirely different statement is changing the time perspective of another statement which in itself is complete.
It would have been OK, if these statements were rather phrases.

Hello Vickyy Bhardwaj,

Many words and phrases in English can have more than one meaning or use and this is certainly the case with modal verbs. As you can see in this section, 'could' has a wide range of uses, including past, present and future meanings.

You are assuming that your first sentence has only one possible meaning, and that a second sentence changes it. However, the first sentence has a range of possible meanings, depending on the context in which it is used. In most contexts we would expect a future or present meaning for the first sentence, and would tend to use 'were able to see' or 'could have seen' for past meaning here. However, language requires context; without this we are unable to really identify the intended meaning here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good afternoon. I would like to know what is the best choice in this sentence since I don't really get it. For example, I'm pretty sure that the building is being/is going to be/ will be knocked down next week.
Indeed, if this is speaker's opinion, I should go for " will be", shouldn't I?

Thanks

Hello again Sol7,

That really depends on how you see the action. If you know that there are plans for the building to come down next week (for example, you know the person responsible for its demolition and they've told you), then the present continuous is the most likely form. If you know there is a plan to knock it down, but nothing more specific than that, 'going to' is the most likely form. 'will' can be used in different ways - here, for example, it could be used to make a prediction.

I hope that helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Mr. Kirk,
What is the difference between WILL & WILL BE ABLE TO,?
Trump will win the election.
Trump will be able to win the election.

Hello dlis,

In this context, 'will' is making a prediction, though it can also be used in other ways - see our will and would page for more on this.

'will' and 'can' are both modal verbs. One of the rules about using modal verbs is that you can't use two together, e.g. you can't say 'will can' to make a prediction about ability. Instead of 'will can', we say 'will be able to', which is the case here.

The second sentence emphasises Trump's ability to win, but in the end, both sentences have almost the same meaning and both could be used in many different contexts.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I just came across this sentence and am confused.

"It will be necessary to double the production quota by next year to keep up with the market demand."

Do you have to use the future tense "will"?
If you replace "will be" with a present tense "is", do those two mean the same or not?

Pages