ENGLISHMain English Grammar

Uses of Future Tenses

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1. Uses of Future Simple Tenses

We use the Future Simple Tense:

A) To talk about things that cannot be controlled or to talk about one’s opinions about an event or happening; e.g.

i) We shall come on Monday.
ii) We will succeed one day.
iii) He will know his exam results next month.
iv) The patient will recover soon.
v) Why don’t you stay with us for a few days? My parents will enjoy seeing you.
vi) I imagine there will be a good crowd gathered in our match with Pakistan.
vii) She thinks India will win the World Cup.
viii) I’m sure Ritu will stand first.

B) If two events are in the future and if a clause beginning with IF, WHEN, AS SOON AS, etc. is there, we use the Future Simple Tense  tense in the main clause and the Present Simple Tense or the Present Continuous Tense (according to the situation) in the other clause; e.g.

i) I shall talk to her if she meets me.
ii) We shall buy a flat when the prices come down.
iii) She will go out if it doesn’t rain.
iv) She will go out if it is not raining.

C) To say something that we decide to do at the time of speaking; e.g.

i) It is raining. I will take an umbrella.
ii) The Principal is in a meeting at the moment. I’ll wait.

Use of Present Simple Tense for Future Simple Tense

1. We use the Present Simple Tense to express future; it’s done when an event is a part of a fixed time timetable; e.g.

a) Today match starts at 9 a.m.
b) The Mumbai Rajdhani Express leaves at 5 in the evening.
c) When does the shop open?
d) His marriage comes off next Friday.

2. We use the Present Simple Tense to express future in time and in conditional clauses, that begin with ‘After, Before, By the time, As soon as, As long as, Incase, If, Til, Until, Unless, When, While (= as)’; e.g.

a)I shall wait till you finish your lunch.
b) If you don’t work hard, you’ll fail.
c)When you come here, you’ll get a job.
d) Unless you work hard, you will not succeed.
e) He will meet me first as soon as he reaches here.

Use of Present Continuous Tense for Future Simple Tense

We use the Present Continuous Tense for already arranged actions which are to take place in the near future; e.g.

a) I’m going to the cinema tonight.
b) We are eating out tonight.

Use of BE GOING TO for Future Simple Tense

1. To talk about future activities and events that have already been arranged; e.g.

a) They are going to the circus tonight.
b) Dipti and Mukesh are going to marry next Saturday.
c) Are you going to see Rachna this Sunday? (Means ‘Do you have an arrangement to see her?’)

NOTE: If the action is already decided upon, we use the BE GOING TO form; the Future Simple Tense is used for undecided actions.

2. To talk about what seems likely or certain; e.g.

a) It is going to rain, it’s blowing very cool breeze.
b) The boat is full of water. It is going to sink.
c) Asha is going to have a baby.

3. For present intentions or decisions for the future; e.g.

a) I’m going to stay in the factory itself tonight. (decision)

[WILL STAY instead of AM GOING TO STAY is also possible.]

b) She is going to be a musician when she grows up. (intention)

4. To express an action which is on the point of happening; e.g.

The train is just going to leave the station.

NOTE: We can also use BE ABOUT TO in place of BE GOING TO in such a case; e.g.

a) Rima is about to die.
b) They are about to start.
c) Rohan is about to enter the office.

2. Uses of Future Continuous Tense

A) To talk about actions that will be in continuation at some time in the future; e.g.

i) I’ll be playing cards when you’ll come to see me.
ii) Amit will be playing tennis tomorrow morning.
iii) When my mother will get home, I’ll be sleeping.

B) To talk about actions in the future that are already planned or which are expected to happen; e.g.

i) He will be meeting me next Thursday.
ii) The postman will be coming soon.

Use of BE TO for Future Continuous Tense

To talk about official plans and arrangements; e.g.

a) The Prime Minister is to visit Japan next week.
b) The conference is to discuss ‘Unemployment’.

3. Uses of Future Perfect Tense

A) To talk about actions that will be completed by a certain time in the future; e.g.

i) I shall have finished this book before the examination begins.
ii) The patient will have died before the doctor comes.
iii) She will have finished her homework by the evening.

B) For events that have possibly been done; e.g.

She will have finished her homework.

We use MUST in place of WILL to emphasize the idea; e.g.

She must have finished her homework.

4. Uses of Future Perfect Continuous Tense

To talk about actions which will be in progress over a period of time that will end in the future; e.g.

By the end of this week Mohan will have been teaching here for five here

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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