What is the Simple Future tense in english? (I will)

What is the Simple Future tense in english?

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The simple future has two different forms in English:

You can use will‘ or ‘be+going to‘.

Although they can be used in the same way, they often have a different meaning.

With a little practice their difference will seem clearer to you. In both cases both forms refer to a specific time in the future.

In this lesson we will see the simple future tense with’Will’. Click here to see the second part with ‘be+going to’.

1/ How to make the Simple Future with Will

subject + Will + verb at the infinitive form

Affirmative Negative Question
 I / you / he / she / it / we / you / they I will play I will not (= I won’t) play Will I play?
  • (+) I will take the bus.
  • (?) Will I take the bus ?
  • (-) I will not take the bus (= I won’t take the bus).

2/ Use

* When we decide to do something, or when we propose to do something… or to refuse to do it (we are making the decision as we speak):

  • What would you like to drink ? =>  I’ll have a coffee please.
  • I’ll send her an email this afternoon.
  • I don’t think I’ll buy that house.
  • I will help you to clean up the mess.
  • I’ll open the door for you.
  • Hold on. I’ll get a pen.
  • I’ll pay by credit card.
  • won’t go there alone.
  • I forgot to call Phil. I’ll call him now.
  • I won’t leave until I’ve seen the manager.
  • Are you hungry ? I’ll prepare some sandwiches.
  • You look tired. I’ll get you some coffee.

* To express a future prediction or hypothesis (you can also use be+going to):

  • If you ask her, she will give you a lift.
  • She will be surprised when she will see that.
  • Who do you think will win the race ?
  • He won’t believe what happened.
  • I don’t think Joey will come tonight. 
  • It will snow tomorrow. 

* To ask someone to do something (with ‘will you…?):

  • Will you please turn the light off ? I’m going to bed.
  • Will you come with me to the party ?
  • Will you please bring me my wallet ? 
  • Will you please listen to me ?
  • Will you help me clean up the table ?
  • Will you marry me ?

* To express a promise

  • will text you when I arrive.
  • I will not go to the club tonight (= I won’t go to the club tonight).
  • I’ll make sure the dog has enough food.
  • I promise I won’t tell her about your secret.
  • I’ll be careful, don’t worry.

* To express a certain future (with be)

  • The meeting will be at 10am.
  • will be in Melbourne next week.
  • I’ll be at the bar after the meeting.
  • There will be 40 people at the party.

* To express the conditional future

  • If something happen, I will call you.
  • If we can’t find your place, we will come back home.

3/ Notes

👉 We often use ‘I think I’ll…’ and ‘I don’t think I’ll…’.

  • I’m hungry. I think I’ll have something to eat.
  • I don’t think I’ll go out tonight. I’m too tired.

👉 Shall and Will 

Shall is sometimes used instead of Will to talk to the future, but it is very uncommon in modern English and only in literature, poetry or law texts with he, she, you, they:

  • You shall not pass !
  • You shall not kill 

If you hear Shall in a sentence, it is mainly used to make an offer or suggestion, or to ask for advice (with I or We).

  • Shall we go ?
  • Shall I open the window ?

👉 We can use ‘won’t’ to say that someone or something refuses to do what we want:

  • The car won’t start.
  • I’ve tried to talk to her but she won’t listen to me.

👉 Active / passive form

  • Active =>  Tim will finish the work this afternoon. 
  • Passive =>   The work will be finished this afternoon.

👉 Place of adverbs

Adverbs such as always, only, never, never, ever, still, just, etc. are placed after will:

  • You will never be good at Street Fighter.
  • Will you ever be good at Street Fighter?


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