English Language Languages

The Simple Future Tense [PDF]

Simple Future Tense

The simple future tense is a verb tense that’s used to talk about things that haven’t happened yet.

This year, Mark will read War and Peace. It will be difficult, but she’s determined to do it.

Use the future “simple” to talk about a condition or action that will begin & end in the future.

How to Form the Simple Future

The formula for the simple future: will + [root form of verb].

will learn a new language.

Mark will read that book.

My brothers will sleep till noon if no one wakes them up.

You will see what I mean.

There is another way to show tell that something will happen in the future:

It follows the formula [am/is/are] + going to + [verb in root form].

am going to learn a new language.

Sheryl is going to read that book.

My brothers are going to sleep till noon if no one wakes them up.

You are going to see what I mean.

The “going to” construction is common in speech & casual writing. Keep in mind though that it’s on the informal side, so it’s a good idea to stick to the will + [root form] construction in formal writing.

The simple future is used:

-To predict an event in the future:
It will rain tomorrow.

-With “I” or “We”, to express a spontaneous decision:
I’ll pay for the bus tickets by credit card.

-To express willingness:
I’ll do the washing-up.
He’ll carry your bag for you.

-In the negative form, to express unwillingness:
The baby won’t eat his soup.
won’t leave until I’ve seen the manager!

-With “I” in the interrogative form using “shall”, to make an offer:
Shall I open the window?

-With “we” in the interrogative form using “shall”, to make a suggestion:
Shall we go to the theatre tonight?

-With I in the interrogative form using “shall”, to ask for advice or instructions:
What shall I tell the manager about this money?

-With “you”, to give orders:
You will do exactly as I say.

-With “you” to give an invitation:
Will you come to play football with me?

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See Also
The Present Continuous Tense
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