Chapter 5-8-9: The Simple Future Tense
WHEN TO USE IT: The simple future is used to refer to actions that will take place after the act of speaking or writing.
FORM: [will + verb] or [am/is/are + going to + verb]
Some keywords that are often associated with the simple future tense are in six months, later, next month, probably, soon, tonight, and tomorrow. Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the simple future tense.
They will meet us at the newest café in the market.
Will you walk the dog tonight?
At the feast, we will eat heartily.
Bobbie will call you tomorrow with details about the agenda.
The Smiths say that they will not move their chicken coop.
Note: the future can be indicated in several different ways in English. It is often created with the use of auxiliaries: "She will be a student.", "She is going to drive a new car."
English can even create the future by using the simple present (used for timetables, programs etc.), "The train arrives at 10pm" or the present progressive (used for future plans), "He is collecting his mother from the station tonight."
FORMING “YES / NO” QUESTIONS & SHORT ANSWERS USING “WILL”:
To create a question using will, use the form [“will” + subject + base form of verb]; for example…
Will she wait? Yes, she will. No, they won’t.
FORMING INFORMATION QUESTIONS WITH “WILL”:
To create an information question using will, use the form [question word + “will” + subject + base form of verb]; for example…
Where will I go? What will we do? What will she wear? How will they look?
FORMING “YES / NO” QUESTIONS & SHORT ANSWERS USING “AM GOING TO”:
To create a question using am going to, use the form [conjugated “to be” + subject + “going to” + base form of verb]; for example…
Am I going to understand? Is she going to go? Are they going to sit?
FORMING INFORMATION QUESTIONS WITH “AM GOING TO”:
To create an information question using am going to, use the form [question word + conjugated “to be” + subject + “going to” + base form of verb]; for example…
Who am I going to choose? When is he going to laugh? How are they going to float?
WHEN TO USE “WILL” AND WHEN TO USE “AM GOING TO”
English as second language learners have a great deal of difficulty knowing when to use “will” or “am going to”. The following table describes when to use “will, “be going to” and other methods of expressing the future:
IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE SIMPLE FUTURE:
Note that adverbs go between will and the base form of the verb. For example…
I will consistently forget to turn off the coffee machine.
They won’t ever make that mistake again!
② USING THE FUTURE WITH SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS
Just to make things tricky, dependent clauses (also called "subordinate clauses") that are preceded by subordinating conjunctions do not take on a future form. The list of these key words or phrases is:
as long as
as soon as
Because a dependent clause can occur either before or after the independent (main) clause, there are a two possible forms for this particular scenario.
[subordinating conjunction] + [dependent clause without "will" or "be going to"] + [comma] + [independent clause in the future form]
[independent clause in the future form] + [subordinating conjunction] + [dependent clause without "will" or "be going to"]
I will phone you as soon as I arrive. //
I will phone you as soon as I will arrive.
When people enter the room, they will see the gifts. //
When people will enter the room, they will see the gifts.