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Future tenses

There are several different ways in English that you can talk about the future. This page is an introduction to the most important ones:

- Predictions/statements of fact
- Intentions
- Arrangements
- Scheduled events

Predictions/statements of fact

The auxiliary verb will is used in making predictions or simple statements of fact about the future.

Intentions

The auxiliary verb going to is used in talking about intentions. (An intention is a plan for the future that you have already thought about.)

Note: going to is often used in the past tense to talk about an unfulfilled intention. Examples: I was going to study for my grammar test, but I had no time. / He was going to call you, but he couldn't find his mobile phone. / My grandmother was going to visit us, but she fell and broke her arm.

Arrangements

The present continuous tense is used in talking about arrangements. (An arrangement is is a plan for the future that you have already thought about and discussed with someone else.)

Scheduled events

The present simple tense is usually used to refer to future events that are scheduled (and outside of our control).

More future tenses.


This is a very difficult aspect of English grammar. Learners who want a deeper understanding should consult a good grammar reference such as Swan's Practical English Usage.

Do a quiz on this grammar topic.


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