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2.8: Future Tense and Future Tense Clauses

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    52285
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    Overview: Future Tense Forms

    Read these sentences...

    • I will meditate every day this semester
    • She is going to call her son to cheer him up
    • We might/may discuss the "Happiness in Denmark" article in class today
    • I am writing in my journal for twenty minutes this morning to boost my mood
    • The class has a test later today
    • He plans to do a happiness survey tomorrow
    • At 9:00 tomorrow morning, they will be working

    What are some ways we make the future tense?

    Future Tense Form

    • "Will" + base form verb
    • "Be" + "going to" + base form verb
    • Modal of possibility ("may/might/could") + base form verb
    • Present continuous
    • Present tense
    • "Plan to" + base form verb
    • Future continuous

    Meaning: "Will" + Base Form

    • I will do my homework after class
    • I will bring plates to the party
    • I'll have the chicken teriyaki
    • It will probably rain tomorrow

    Which sentence is used to volunteer for a task? Which sentence is used to make a quick decision? Which sentence is used to make a promise? Which sentence is used to make a prediction?

    Answers

    • The first sentence is used to make a promise
    • The second sentence is used to volunteer for a task
    • The third sentence is used to make a quick decision
    • The fourth sentence used to make a prediction

    Meaning: "Be Going To" + Base Form

    • It's going to rain this afternoon
    • We're going to conduct a survey on happiness this semester

    Which sentence is about a plan? Which sentence is about a prediction?

    Answers

    • The first sentence is about a prediction
    • The second sentence is about a plan

    "Be going to" is used for both plans and predictions

    Which of these events are usually planned?

    • Getting a cold
    • Having a party
    • Doing your homework
    • The weather
    • Winning the lottery
    • Visiting a friend
    • Traveling

    Answers

    • Having a party
    • Doing your homework
    • Visiting a friend
    • Traveling

    Use "be going to," "plan to," simple present, or continuous for events that are planned. Use "be going to," "will," "might," and "may" for predictions...

    • She will get a cold if she doesn't take care of herself
      • This is a prediction
    • They are going to have a party
      • This is a plan
    • They plan to do their homework after class
      • This is a plan
    • Maybe it will rain this afternoon
      • This is a prediction

    Key Takeaways for "Will" and "Be Going To"

    Use "will" for...

    Do not use "will" for...

    Predictions, volunteering, promises, quick decisions

    Plans

    Modify with...

    Certainly, maybe, definitely, probably, perhaps

    Use "be going to" for... Predictions and plans

    Modify with...

    Certainly, maybe, definitely, probably, perhaps

    More Ways to Talk About Future Plans

    Present continuous for plans that are certain

    • We're traveling to Europe this summer. We have the tickets and reservations

    "Plan to" + base form verb for planned events, certain or uncertain, that require arrangement

    • They plan to get married in March
    • She plans to move in April, but she hasn't found a house yet

    Simple present tense for scheduled events in the future

    • The train leaves at 2:00 PM
    • The class starts at 9:00 AM tomorrow

    Modals "may/might/could" + base form of verb for uncertain events in the future, planned or predicted

    • I might go to the park tomorrow (planned, uncertain)
    • It could rain next week (prediction, uncertain)
    • We may eat out this evening (planned, uncertain)

    Key Takeaways for Present Continuous, Simple Present, "Plan To," and Modals of Future Possibility

    Use present continuous for... Planned events that are certain Sometimes modified with "probably" or "definitely"
    Use simple present for... Scheduled events May be modified with "definitely"
    Use "plan to" + base form for... Planned events that are certain or not certain Usually not modified
    Use "might," "may," "could" for... Predictions or plans that are uncertain Not modified

    Future Continuous

    • "Will" + "be" + base + -ing
    • "Be going to" + base + -ing
    • "May/might" + "be" + base + -ing

    There is a fixed point in the future, and an action is in progress during that fixed point

    • When you call me tomorrow evening, I will be watching my favorite TV show
    • When my parents arrive tomorrow, I will/might/am going to be cooking dinner

    Future Clauses

    Read the sentences below...

    • If you express gratitude everyday, you will begin to feel more optimistic
    • My grandmother is going to be so happy when she receives this thank you letter
    • I might go to the gym after I finish my homework. Exercise always cheers me up

    What tense is used in each dependent clause? What tense is used in each independent clause?

    Answers

    In complex sentences in the future time, the dependent clause uses present tense, and the independent clause uses future tense

    Future Tense and Future Tense Clauses Takeaways

    There are several ways to express future tense. These include:

    • "Will"
    • "Be going to"
    • Future continuous
    • Present continuous
    • Simple present
    • "Plan to"
    • "Might/may/could"

    Each of these expressions has a slightly different meaning or use

    Videos and Other Resources

    Watch this video to learn more about future tenses...

    Watch this video for more information about the future continuous...

    Watch this video and this video about future time clauses...

    For more information and exercises about future continuous, try this website and this website...

    Practice Using the Future Tenses

    Read the article "Five Things That Will Make You Happier" by Clara Moskowitz

    Make a plan to boost your happiness for the rest of the semester. What do you plan to do? How do you predict it will help? How certain are you about the results? Write a paragraph using some of the future tenses to explain your plan


    2.8: Future Tense and Future Tense Clauses is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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