Grammar plus: future (advanced features)
Each underlined structure below has a description of its use.
Two of the descriptions are untrue.
Find them and correct them.
- They will be measuring in thousandths of seconds in 2050.
to say something will be in progress at a particular time in the future
- Will you be going to the weekend training session?
to make a polite enquiry
- By 2050 the sporting elite will have been elevated further...
to say something will be completed at a particular time in the near future
- You won't have heard the results of the match yet.
to express an assumption
- They're about to begin the opening ceremony.
He's on the point of doing his first ever bungee jump.
to refer to the next moment
- All competitors for the 100m are to assemble on the track at precisely 2.45p.m.
to indicate an informal arrangement The race is due to start at 11 a.m.
to indicate a previously scheduled time
- This race is due to start at 11 a.m.
to indicate a previously scheduled time
Five of the following sentences contain grammatical mistakes.
Find the mistakes and correct them.
- I've never smoked and I'm not about to starting now!
- I hope we be sitting by the pool in our
new house this time next month.
- Work on the new bridge due to start on September 1st.
- Do you think you'll be staying for the whole afternoon?
- They won't have been realised that everything has been
delayed by an hour.
- We were on the point of leave when it all started
to get quite exciting.
- We are to get a 10% pay rise next month.
- There's no chance they'll have finished putting
in the new kitchen by the end of the week.
Tell another student if you are on the point of doing anything significant in your life.
EXAMPLE: I'm on the point of moving out of my parents'
house and into a place of my own.
Ask someone politely about the following things using the Future Continuous.
EXAMPLE: What will you be doing this summer?
- their plans for the weekend
- the location of their summer holiday
- the method of returning home today
- the time they will next see their best friend
- the length of time they will continue to learn English
Work in pairs.
There are five differences between the information on the notices.
Say what time the various events are due to take place and find the differences.
EXAMPLE: The evening is due to start at 7p.m.
with a welcome by the director.
Tell another student one thing you hope you will have done in:
- three months' time
- six months' time
- one year's time
- five years' time
Expressing the future
There is no future tense ending
for English verbs as there is in other languages,
but English has several widely used ways of referring to future time.
The most common forms are:
We're going to buy a new camera.(be going to + infinitive)
She's coming next Thursday.(the present progressive form)
I'll be home about eight.(shall/will)
My flight leaves in two hours' time.(the present simple form)
The government is to introduce a new funding system for universities.
(be to + infinitive)
We're about to have dinner.(be about to + infinitive)
References to the future can depend on how much
evidence there is for future statements.
It is often not possible to refer to the future with complete certainty,
even though some future events and actions are inevitable. Sometimes,
therefore, choices of form depend on how definite or certain the speaker wants to sound.
For this reason, a number of the ways of referring to the future involve modal verbs.
The most common verb used is will.
Put the verbs in brackets in the most suitable form
(active or passive) of the future.
- _________ (do) anything special on Friday evening?
_________ (finish) her exams by this time next week.
- The train
_________ (get) in at 5.15, which means we
about half an hour to get to the conference centre.
- Look out! That boy
_________ (fall) of his bike!
- The new sports centre
_________ (open) next month but I doubt if it
_________ (complete) by then!
- The prince _________ (give) a speech to local community leaders this evening.
_________ (live) in this house for exactly five years next Sunday.
- Congratulations! We hope you
_________ (be) very happy together.
- The play
_________ (not start) until 8.30 so I think we
time to eat something first.
- 'Anna looks rather fat these days.' - 'Oh,
don't you know? She
_________ (have) a baby.'
- Just think, this time on Thursday we
_________ (fly) to Los Angeles.
- Don't worry, I
_________ (phone) the plumber first thing tomorrow morning.
- Do you think you
_________ (finish) that report by the end of the week?
_________ (give) you a lift to the airport on Monday
or _________ Fred
_________ (take) you?
- We'd better hurry up,
I think they
- What _____(do) after you leave university?
- I hope I ______(have) a better job this time next year.
- Look out, that lorry's coming straight at us. Oh no, we are _____(crash)
- 'Could I have an orange juice?' - I'm sorry, we've run out.' - 'Oh,
alright I _____(have)coke then, please.'
- What time do you think you _______(get) back from the conference.?
Find the phrase which is closest in meaning to the phrase in bold.
- There are probably no tickets left now, but I'm willing to try, if you like.
a) I'll try
b) I'm going to try
c) I try
- What I don't understand is why Helen refuses to speak to him.