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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Future    





There are different ways to express Future; 

          will + v ( inf )

          be going to + v ( inf )

          the present progressive.

But, would you please explain the difference between them, and their different uses.

                                                                                             Thanks in advance.

29 Dec 2012      


Good morning dear friend.  Future forms:

-will +Verb is used for instant decision taken for a future action( I am hungry, I will have a sandwiche)
-to be going to + verb: Future intention ( I am going to buy a new car) there is no programme.
- to be + verb + ing: Future plan. You have a precise plan or programme for your action. I am visiting the new museum tomorrow morning. You can see some examples here. http://www.eslprintables.com/printable.asp?id=341993#thetop

29 Dec 2012     


I have found that the following webpage has helped in understanding the difference ways to express the future in English. Hope it helps you.

29 Dec 2012     


D/ The future


There are many forms which express the future time :



 Meaning /Use

Accompanying expressions

1/  a)  will � �ll

Will not � won�t

b) Shall � shall not � shan�t

a) It will rain tomorrow.

b)  We shall fight and we shall win.



a) prediction

b) determination


Next week

Next year

After a few days

2/ The present continuous

 I am visiting my friend next week.

Future plan / programme


3/ be going to + verb

a) I am going to be a doctor when I grow up.

b) It is clowdy. It is going to rain.


a) Future intention

b) Future result of a present cause.


The future continuous ( will be + verb +ing)

 Tomorrow morning            I will be taking my exam.


An action in progress in the future


The future perfect    ( shall / will + have  +past participle )

By the end of May, we will have studied all the English lessons.

An action that at a given future time will be in the past or just finished.

By then

By that time     By the 24th of June

30 Dec 2012     


I have grown fond of this example to explain my students part of it:

Imagine you win the lottery. You ask yourself what to do with the money.

1. When you come up with the idea and you say: I �ll travel to the Caribbean! (this is an instant decision).

2. When you are leaving your house to go to the travel agency, you meet a neighbour who wants to know your plans: I am going to travel to the Caribbean, you say (this is a plan, an intention, you have given it some thought).

3. Then you meet your ex-wife. She wants to know and share! You say: I am travelling to the Caribbean. Nothing is going to change my mind. I �ve already bought the tickets. (This is a firm decision).

Hope it helps.

30 Dec 2012