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Last Updated October 17, 2021, 9:30 am
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Grammar plus: future (advanced features)

1 Each underlined structure below has a description of its use. Two of the descriptions are untrue. Find them and correct them.
  1. They will be measuring in thousandths of seconds in 2050.
    to say something will be in progress at a particular time in the future
  2. Will you be going to the weekend training session?
    to make a polite enquiry
  3. By 2050 the sporting elite will have been elevated further...
    to say something will be completed at a particular time in the near future
  4. You won't have heard the results of the match yet.
    to express an assumption

  5. 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

  6. 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
  7. This race is due to start at 11 a.m.
    to indicate a previously scheduled time
2 Five of the following sentences contain grammatical mistakes. Find the mistakes and correct them.
  1. I've never smoked and I'm not about to starting now!
  2. I hope we be sitting by the pool in our new house this time next month.
  3. Work on the new bridge due to start on September 1st.
  4. Do you think you'll be staying for the whole afternoon?
  5. They won't have been realised that everything has been delayed by an hour.
  6. We were on the point of leave when it all started to get quite exciting.
  7. We are to get a 10% pay rise next month.
  8. There's no chance they'll have finished putting in the new kitchen by the end of the week.
3 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.
4 Ask someone politely about the following things using the Future Continuous. EXAMPLE: What will you be doing this summer?

  1. their plans for the weekend
  2. the location of their summer holiday
  3. the method of returning home today
  4. the time they will next see their best friend
  5. the length of time they will continue to learn English

5 Work in pairs.
Student A look at Summer Party A:
Student B look at Summer Party B:
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.

4 Tell another student one thing you hope you will have done in:
  1. three months' time
  2. six months' time
  3. one year's time
  4. 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.
  1. _______ (do) anything special on Friday evening?
  2. Mandy _______ (finish) her exams by this time next week.
  3. The train _______ (get) in at 5.15, which means we _______ (have) about half an hour to get to the conference centre.
  4. Look out! That boy _______ (fall) of his bike!
  5. The new sports centre _______ (open) next month but I doubt if it _______ (complete) by then!
  6. The prince _______ (give) a speech to local community leaders this evening.
  7. We _______ (live) in this house for exactly five years next Sunday.
  8. Congratulations! We hope you _______ (be) very happy together.
  9. The play _______ (not start) until 8.30 so I think we _______ (have) time to eat something first.
  10. 'Anna looks rather fat these days.' - 'Oh, don't you know? She _______ (have) a baby.'
  11. Just think, this time on Thursday we _______ (fly) to Los Angeles.
  12. Don't worry, I _______ (phone) the plumber first thing tomorrow morning.
  13. Do you think you _______ (finish) that report by the end of the week?
  14. _______ I _______ (give) you a lift to the airport on Monday or _______ Fred _______ (take) you?
  15. We'd better hurry up, I think they _______ (close).
  16. What _____(do) after you leave university?
  17. I hope I ______(have) a better job this time next year.
  18. Look out, that lorry's coming straight at us. Oh no, we are _____(crash)
  19. 'Could I have an orange juice?' - I'm sorry, we've run out.' - 'Oh, alright I _____(have)coke then, please.'
  20. What time do you think you _______(get) back from the conference.?

Find the phrase which is closest in meaning to the phrase in bold.

  1. 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
  2. What I don't understand is why Helen refuses to speak to him.
    _______ a) doesn't speak
    b) won't speak
    c) isn't going to speak
  3. All the plans have been made for our flight to Jamaica
    a) We'll fly to Jamaica
    b) We fly to Jamaica
  4. The meal will be over by the time we get there.
    a) They'll finish eating
    b) They'll be eating.
    c) They'll have finished eating.
  5. I intend to be a lot more careful next time I drive abroad
    a) I'm going to be a lot more careful b) I shall be a lot more careful
    c) I'm being a lot more careful

  6. How about trying a Japanese restaurant for a change?
    a) Will we try
    b) Are we going to try
    c) Shall we try
  7. They'll be in the middle of their meal at 8 o'clock, so I'll phone now.
    a) They'll eat
    b) They're going to eat
    c) They'll be eating
  8. I'm very likely to see Julia this afternoon - is there anything you want me to tell her?
    a) I'll probably
    b) I'll be seeing c) I see

  9. Would you like me to do the shopping?
    a) Am I going to
    b) Will I
    c) Shall I
  10. Hmmm ... let me think ... I've just decided to cook the meal if you go to the shops.
    _______ a) I'll cook b) I'm cooking
    c) I'm going to cook

  11. I'm not worried about making a fool of myself. I'm prepared to dress up if you want.
    a) I'm dressing up
    b) I'm going to dress up
    c) I'll dress up
  12. The new season is timetabled to begin at the beginning of September.
    a) begins b) is beginning
    c) will be beginning

Complete the gaps in the following passage by putting the verbs in brackets into an appropriate passive form. You will also have to put any other words in brackets in the correct place. Look at the example given.

Well, last month most of the lambs (1) ___were sold__ (sell) at the market, although we've still got ten which (2) _______ (probably send) next week. When all the lambs have gone, the sheep (3) _______ (take) to another part of the farm. After that, we usually start on the fruit, although the blackcurrants (4) _______ (already pick) because it was an early season this year. The plums can't (5) _______ (pick) for another three weeks by law as they (6) _______ (spray) only seven weeks ago. Of course, they still have (7) _______ (gather) by hand, unlike the blackcurrants, which (8) _______ (harvest) by machine nowadays. The plums and blackcurrants (9) _______ (both make) into jam and preserve. Then we have what's called the 'bag fruit', which is apples and pears. Since the fruit doesn't have to be in good condition (10) _______ (make) into cider and perry, it (11) _______ (treat) pretty badly. For example, there are no skilled pickers involved, the trees (12) _______ (just shake) until the fruit drops to the ground, where it (13) _______ (collect) and (14) _______ (put) into bags. As you can imagine, handling the bags is a very dirty job as the juice leaks out everywhere. But I hope the whole process (15) _______ (automate) before much longer.

Complete the sentences in the newspaper cuttings, using the word(s) in brackets.

Le Monde to print articles in English

France's most traditional newspaper, Le Monde, (1) _______ (be / print ) a weekly supplement in English. Editor Jean-Marie Colombani announced that the first 12-page supplement of translated articles (2) _______ ( due / appear) next month.

Pirovsky to return to US

Controversial film director Ray Pirovsky (3) _______ (verge / return) to the US 25 years after fleeing the country to escape criminal charges. Los Angeles police (4) _______ (be / drop) the charges against Pirovsky, making his return a virtual certainty ....

Presidential victory in referendum

President Marref (5) _______ (set / win) a landslide victory in a national referendum to grant him a five-year extension to his rule.
Opinion polls indicate that approximately 85% of voters (6) _______ (likely / vote) 'Yes' in next week's poll.

Bridge to link Sicily to Italy

Work (7) _______ (about / begin) on a 5km-long bridge across the Straits of Messina connecting the island of Sicily to the Italian mainland. The project - suggested some 30 year ago - is (8) _______ (bound / benefit) the economy of the region, according to one prominent local politician.

Peace deal to end civil war

The government and the rebel SPLA group are (9) _______ (point / reach) an agreement to end their 20-year civil war. The two sides (10) _______ (be / sign) a temporary ceasefire which allows a degree of autonomy for those regions.

Complete the text with words or phrases below:

were on the point of / would / was to be / were supposed to / were leaving /
was going to be / were going to be / was about to say

Florence Bell

Florence Bell was born on the first day of 1900. As one of eight children, she left school at the age of 14. 'In those days, young girls (1) _______ help their mothers around the house,' she remembers. She was never terribly keen on school anyway: 'It was very strict,' she says. 'I remember the headmistress bringing us all into her study, as we (2) _______ school the next day. She said this (3) _______ the worst day of our lives....
I (4) _______ "No it isn't, it's the best!", but I decided to keep quiet. You couldn't afford to be cheeky in those days.'
At the age of 16, she met Leslie parsons, the man who (5) _______ later become her husband. After becoming engaged in 1918,they (6) _______ getting married in 1920, when Leslie lost his job and the wedding had to be postponed. 'We always knew things (7) _______ hard.' said Florence. 'Finding a job was very difficult in those days.' It was eight years before Leslie and Florence could finally afford to marry: soon afterward they moved into the small terraced house in north London which (8) _______ their home for the next sixty-five years. Neither of them ever had any desire to move.
'Yes, I've enjoyed it on the whole. The only thing is, if I came back, I'd have a bit more money.' Show
More Future More Gaps to fill
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