The simple future tense in English is one of the verb tenses used in English to talk about future actions . It is part of the three expressions of the future, together with the perfect future and the continuum. Its structure is simple and it is essential to communicate correctly in English.
It can be said that there are two basic forms of the future simple. Sometimes they are interchangeable, but sometimes they may have different meanings. To better understand this topic, we invite you to follow this lesson legend. Here you will learn how to construct sentences in the future simple and what are the uses of this tense .
Simple future in English with the auxiliary “will”
We can create sentences in the future using the auxiliary “will” before the main verb , thus we will indicate that the action will occur in the future.
Subject + “will” + verb in infinity without the “to”.
It is common to do contractions with the personal pronoun and the auxiliary “will”, like the ones shown below: I’ll, You’ll, She’ll, He’ll, They’ll …
Examples of affirmative sentences:
- She´ll call him tonight. (She will call you that night)
- I’ll arrive (I’ll be late)
- We’ll be happy to see them. (We will be happy to see you)
Negative sentences in the future simple with “will”
For negative sentences, we just have to add the particle “not” after the auxiliary “will” but before the main verb . In general, the contraction “won’t” is used to express negation. As shown below in the grammar structure:
Subject + “will not” / “won´t” + infinitive verb without “to”.
- She won’t call him tonight.
- I won’t arrive late.
- We won’t be happy to see them.
When we want to ask a question in the future simple, we begin the sentence with the auxiliary “will”, followed by the subject and the main verb .
“Will” + subject + infinitive verb without the “to”?
- Will she call him tonight?
- Will you arrive late?
- Will they be happy to see us?
Simple future with “going to”
In this case, the auxiliary verb “to be” corresponding to the personal pronoun used is also used, as shown below:
Subject + auxiliary (to be) + “going to” + infinitive verb without “to”.
- She is going to call him tonight.
- I ‘m going to arrive
- We’re going to be happy to see them.
Negative sentences in the future simple with “going to”
To make a negation using the “going to”, the particle “not” must be placed between the auxiliary verb “to be” and the “going to” .
Negative grammatical structure:
Subject + auxiliary verb (to be) + “not” + “going to” + main verb.
- She is not going to call him tonight.
- I ‘ m not going to arrive
- We’re not going to be happy to see them.
When we ask with this future form, we begin the sentence with the auxiliary verb “to be” followed by the subject, the “going to” and the main verb .
Verb “to be” + subject + “going to” + verb in the infinitive without the “to”?
- Is she going to call him tonight?
- Are you going to arrive late?
- Are we going to be happy to see them?
Imminent actions or events
If we need to talk about actions or events that will occur imminently , the expression “about to” can also be used. For this we will use the same grammatical form as with “going to”.
- She is about to leave .
- The meeting is about to begin .
Uses of “will” and “going to”
Both the form “will” and “going to” are used to talk about the future. However, there is a difference between the two and it is the probability and planning sense of the action. Generally, we use “going to” when we want to talk about concrete plans or we are sure that something will happen . Simple future Tense in English grammar
# 1 Voluntary actions
In this case we use the auxiliary “will”, as shown in the following examples:
- Will you help her move?
- I will clean my room.
- They won’t work with Mary.
# 2 Express promise
We also use “will” when we want to express a promise.
- When he is president, he will lower .
- She promises she will remember you forever.
# 3 To talk about plans
We use “going to” if we want to talk about plans or indicate the intention to carry out an action.
- I am going to have an important meeting tomorrow.
- You are going to take a French class.
- Is he going to play tennis later?
# 4 When making predictions
Both future simple forms can be used to make prediction. But, if we have evidence that something is going to happen, preferably “going to” is used .
- It will be an amazing event. / It is going to be an amazing event.
- It won’t snow . / It is not going to snow.
There are actions of the future that are expressed using the present continuous or even the simple present .
# 1 Safe actions of the near future
We use the present continuous with the main verb in the present participle.
- Ana is arriving
- They are going to the mall this afternoon.
# 2 Scheduled events of the near future and schedules of flights, train, etc.
In this case, the present simple is used to indicate events that will occur in the near future .
- The meeting starts at 7pm .
- The flight leaves at 9 am .
We hope that you have understood the simple future tense in English.