Saturday, 10 March 2012

What the future holds…

Future time can be expressed in English in different ways. Using the auxiliary “will / shall” together with the bare infinitive of the main verb is the most neutral and most usual way of conveying the idea of future time in English. However, there are other structures which are also used to refer to future time in different situations, namely the present simple, to be going to + bare infinitive, the present continuous (be + verb-ing), the future perfect and the future continuous.

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Here are some examples:

- I´ll be home at ten o´clock, I promise, mum!   (A promise)
- I think it´ll rain tomorrow.   (An assumption with regards to the future)
- (Telephone ringing) ll get it!   (A spontaneous decision)
- Time will tell (An action in the future that cannot be influenced)

- It´s getting hot in here. Shall I open the window?   (An offer- Only with 1st person singular and plural)

- The train leaves at 4 o´clock.   (A scheduled event in the near future)

- The sky is getting greyer and greyer. It´s going to rain any minute.   (A prediction based on evidence)
- We are going to travel to London next Easter.   (A plan: a decision is made)

- We are travelling to London next Easter. The flight was very cheap.  (A plan: the arrangements are made)

The last two tenses mentioned, the future perfect and the future continuous, are explained in the following presentation:

Future perfect and future continuous
View more PowerPoint from Lola Domínguez

Now you can try the following exercise to check what you learnt with the previous presentation.