What is the future tense in English?

Talking about the future. Future forms – will, be going to, present continuous

 Future tense grammar test in English

In English, the future tense is used to describe future events, actions, or situations (Example: She will finish her studies next year). The future tense can indicate when and how an action will take place in the future or something you intend to do. Since the future is a time that has not yet come, there are different ways of expressing this tense in English depending on the context and what you want to convey. Today we will briefly cover the basics of the future tense in English, how they are formed, rules for usage, and test your knowledge with a 20 question quiz at the end.

The basics of future tenses in English

When looking at the tenses in English that are used to express future events, the main ones are:

Let’s briefly review how they are formed and used in English.

  1. Future Simple:

    • Form: will + base form of the verb
    • Use: Expresses a future event or action without specifying details.

    Example: I will call you tomorrow.

  2. Future Continuous:

    • Form: will be + V-ing
    • Use: Expresses an ongoing event or action at a specific moment in the future.

    Example: At 3 PM tomorrow, I will be working.

  3. Future Perfect:

    • Form: will have + V3 (Past Participle)
    • Use: Expresses a completed event before a certain moment in the future.

    Example: By the time you arrive, I will have finished my work.

  4. Future Perfect Continuous:

    • Form: will have been + V-ing
    • Use: Expresses an ongoing event that will continue up to a specific moment in the future.

    Example: By the end of the year, I will have been working here for ten years.

This is a very brief overview of the verb tenses in their future forms, but it provides the basics to understand the differences between them.

The “to be going to” construction for expressing intent to do something

In English, there is a construction that allows you to express intent to do something – this is the “to be going to” construction.

The “to be going to” Construction:

  • Form: am/are/is + going to + base form of the verb

    Example: I am going to visit my grandparents next weekend.

  • Use:

    • Expressing future plans, intentions, predictions, etc.

So “to be going to” is used to predict future events that are based on present circumstances or facts.

The difference between future simple and “to be going to”:

  • Future Simple (will): Used for general statements and intentions.

    Example: I will call you later.

  • “Going to”: Used for specific plans and predictions.

    Example: I am going to meet my friend at the airport.

Both constructions (“will” and “going to”) are used to express future events, but as you can see from the examples they are applied differently depending on the circumstances.

Test for understanding future tenses in English

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Talking about the future. Future forms – will, be going to, present continuous

Practice. Future Tenses - Test (20 questions)

I ___ to start a new life tomorrow

I shall be back by 6 and I hope you ___ a good sleep by that time.

They ___ dinner at this time tomorrow

What’s happened to your hair? Your mother ___

I think I ___ a cassette recorder and use it in class.

They ___ their English exam at this time tomorrow.

Be quick or we ___ for school

I’ll ask him what he ___ for lunch.

Ask him when the engineers ___ finish the talks.

Mark ___ into the army next year

___ you ___ at 6 tomorrow?

My boss ___ some V.I.P’s tomorrow

What ___ you ___ next Sunday?

We ___ for Niagara tomorrow

He ___ for you at 7 in the evening next Sunday

He ___ to learn French next year.

What ___ you ___ at 6 tomorrow?

Who ___ for a walk tomorrow?

All the children ___ on an excursion next week.

What ___ you ___ at 6 tomorrow?

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