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.





Hello Prap,

Yes, 'have to' can be used to speak about the future, as you were taught. If you said 'I will have to do X tomorrow', it could mean different things depending on the context -- for example, it could mean that you've made the decision at the time of speaking, which is one of the uses of 'will'. So the meaning would be different than a simple 'have to'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
Is this grammatically correct
'I should be here tomorrow also, if she made it to work tomorrow.'

Thank you.

Hello pamella,

No, I'm afraid it's not. I'm not really sure what you mean, but perhaps 'If she makes it to work tomorrow, I should also be here' would express what you mean?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much.

I have read this in newspaper :

It may not be an understatement to say that Pakistan may have an uphill task convincing the Security Council to declare India a 'state sponsor of terror', especially considering US President Donald Trump savagely called out Islamabad last month on the very issue it is accusing India of.

From the news report I understand that it is very difficult for Pakistan to convince that India sponsors terrorism . Then should it not be :

It may be an understatement ... rather than " It may not be an understatement .. " Because I understand that What report means is that saying that " Pakistan has uphill task" is also an understatement , then why it says" it may not be an understatement "

I hope I have put my question across.

Thanking you

I have been going through the questions I have asked and see that this question still remains unanswered. I don't know why.


Hi dipakrgandhi,

It's difficult for us to explain why other writers have phrased their sentences in the way they have. What I can say is that I understand the sentence in the same way as you do and that it also makes sense with 'may' instead of 'may not'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you!


I have read this in newspaper :

"This is expected to happen when an American delegation arrived in Islamabad next month for high-level talks"

Should it not be :
When an American delegation arrives ... or When an American delegation will have arrived ...
\Is it correct to say When an American delegation arrived ... . If yes , how ?

What do you say about the alternatives I have suggested ?

Thanking you.

Hello dipak,

Yes, you're right, 'arrived' doesn't make sense here. 'arrives' would be the most natural choice.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team