How to make plans, predictions and promises for the future in English

In this article we are going to discuss the future tenses in English. To be more precise, there are constructions that allow us to talk about future events, plans, intentions, etc. There are four such constructions in total, but do not be afraid of it. Of course, not in all languages there is no such subtle separation, but if we listen to how we speak, we can draw parallels.

Let's start with the one that is first taught at school as a form of the future tense - Future Simple.

The grammatical form of the simple future tense is the verb Will and the action verb in the first form (infinitive without the particle to). Although the word Future is present in the title of the tense, not all future actions are expressed with its help. Let’s consider exactly when it is needed.

1. First and foremost, Future Simple is used when it comes to spontaneous decisions regarding future actions. That is, decisions made right at the time of the conversation. For example:

When will you come to see us? We’ve missed you. - I think I will come next weekend.

2. In addition, a simple future tense is useful to those who make promises:

I promise I will call you from home.

3. And the last case of using Future Simple is to predict events that we think will happen in the future. For example:

It will probably snow tomorrow.

The next construction that conveys the meaning of future tense is Be going to. It is used to express:

- planned future action or intention;

- forecast or prediction (based on obvious factors).

The form:

I am

going to drive a car

You are

He is

She is

It is

We are

They are


I am going to watch a film. (planned action)

Look at the sky. It is going to rain. (forecast)

They are going to lose. They always do. (prediction)

Digging into the constructions of the future tenses, we approached the following method of expressing plans, namely, with the help of the Present continuous tense. This may seem strange, but it is Present continuous that helps us talk about personal plans, in which we are 100% sure or even have done something to realize them.

We are having a party next week. Will you come? - I am afraid, not. I am visiting my parents all that week.

And, finally, even the Present simple tense can be useful to us in the context of the future tense. Namely, to express future actions that occur in accordance with the schedule, time-table, etc.

I would like to book a ticket to London next weekend. When does the train leave? - The train to London leaves at 14:15.


That's all, now, having figured out the subtleties of using different constructions of the future, we hope you will avoid misunderstandings and be able to correctly tell about your plans, exact or not.



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