How do you say about the things that have not happened yet and will happen in the future? You will be interested to know the format of the sentences which talk about the future. Interesting? Let’s learn how to use tenses in the future tense.
Tenses are verbs that are used to describe the time when an action or event took place. Based on the time of occurrence, tenses are broadly classified into three types:
Each of these is described further using aspect. In English grammar, aspect is a property of verbs that communicate how an activity, occasion, or state, meant by a verb, stretches out after some time. Based on the aspect component of verbs, each tense is further divided into four types. So, there are a total of 12 tenses we can use in English grammar.
As the name suggests, this form of tense is used for sentences with a future sense. There are various ways of referring to the future in English, below are types.
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Types of Future Tense
There are four types of future tense:
- Future Progressive Tense
- Simple Future Tense
- Future Perfect Tense
- Future Perfect Progressive Tense
Let us understand more about each one of them and how they can be used to refer to the future.
Simple Future Tense
- It is also used to denote facts or events of certainty
- It is used to give a warning or take a spontaneous decision
- To express readiness
- Make an offer or suggestion using ‘shall’
- To give an invitation or an order to someone
It can be used in affirmative, interrogative and negative sentences. Both ‘shall’ and ‘will’ can be used in simple future tense sentences, but modern English uses ‘Will’ rather than ‘shall’.
Examples: I’ll prepare dinner.
Why won’t you tell her the truth?
It will rain tomorrow.
Future Continuous/Progressive Tense
The future continuous or future progressive tense is used to denote an event that is ongoing in the future. It is made up of two elements: a simple future of the verb ‘to be’ + the present participle (-ing). The future progressive tense is used in the following condition:
- To extend ourselves in the future
- To predict future events
- Ask or inquire about events in the future
- To refer to events in the future that have a continuous nature or occur regularly
Examples: I will be gone for an hour.
In the afternoon, I’ll still be stuck in meetings.
By October, I will be swimming like a pro.
He will be coming to the meeting.
I will have spent all my money by this time next year.
Future Perfect Tense
The future perfect tense is a bit complicated as compared to the two types mentioned above. It is used to refer to an action which will have been completed at some time in the future.
The future perfect is composed of two elements: the simple future of the verb “to have” (will have) + the past participle of the main verb. It can be used in the affirmative, negative and affirmative and negative of interrogative sentences.
Examples: By the time you get this letter, I will have left.
She will have arrived by lunch.
Won’t they have joined us by 7 pm?
Future Perfect Progressive Tense
This tense is used to describe an event that is ongoing and will complete sometime in the future. A time reference is used to indicate the starting time of the event or action or how long it has been continuing. Commonly used words to indicate time reference are ‘since’ and ‘for’.
The future perfect progressive is composed of two elements: the main verb in the present participle(base form of verb + -ing) + Auxilliary verb ‘will have been’
- They will have been living in Mumbai for 10 years.
- You will have been starting your shop since May.
- Next year, I will have been working at this company for one year.
- I will have been walking for 3 hours.
Other Ways of Depicting Future Tense
Apart from using the future tense form of the verbs, there are other ways of indicating or talking about events in the future.
- Using present continuous tense
- I am leaving for Paris tomorrow.
- We are staying with friends when we get to Boston.
- Using simple present tense
- She has her accounts lecture in the morning.
- I have an English exam next Friday.
- Using the word ‘going’
- He’s going to be a skilled clinician.
- Is it going to rain this evening?
- Mentioning denote obligations
- You are to delete the mail right now.
- You are to leave this room before 8 am tomorrow.
- Referring to the immediate future
- He is about to leave
- We are just about to leave for the wedding reception.
Solved Example for You
Question: I ________ to Monterey this weekend. (drive) Do you want to come along?
- will have driven
- will be driving
Sol. (c) will be driving. The sentence is clearly a future tense statement which is talking about an event that is projected in the future. So, the correct form of the verb ‘drive’ is its future continuous form i.e will be driving. So, the correct answer is the option (c).