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The 3 Future tenses

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Hi there!

During this lesson we're going to look at future tenses. How to use the 3 different types of future tense.

There's often a lot of confusion about which kind of future tense we're suppose to use, and when to use each one.

That's because what we say, all depends upon the context of each different situation.
So let's take a look at the first form of future tense.

You can use: will + an adverb + a verb when talking about a decision you've just made in that instant before replying to someone's question or comment. For example if a phone starts ringing you could say: I'll (I will) answer the phone.

You can also use will + a verb when talking about something foreseeable that you think is going to happen in the future. For example: The weather'll (weather will) probably be very hot next week.

You can also use will + a verb when talking about offers, requests, promises, or refusals. For example: I'll teach you how to speak English, if you want.

You can also use will + a verb when talking about a fact which will happen in the future. For example: The sun'll (sun will) set tomorrow.

Now let's take a look at the second form of future tense.

You use: going to + a verb when talking about a decision you've already made before replying to someone's question or comment, and you have the intention of doing the action which you've already decided. For example: I'm going to play tennis.

Finally, here's the third, and last form of future tense.
You use the verb in its ing form + the manner, place or time related to how, where, or when you're going to do the action which you've already decided.

Here are some examples:

I'm playing tennis with 2 of my friends tonight
I'm playing tennis at the club in London tomorrow
I'm playing tennis tomorrow afternoon

In the first two forms of future tense, you can also add an element of probability related to the action which you've decided, but with the third form it's not necessary because the action planned is definitely programmed at a certain time or place.

For example: I'll probably play tennis, is fairly probable, but it's just an idea I have.

I'm more than likely going to play tennis, is even more probable because I've already expressed my intention to play tennis, even though I haven't decided where or when I'm going to play.

I'm playing tennis at the club in London, or: I'm playing tennis tomorrow afternoon, are both definitely going to happen because, not only have I decided that I'm playing tennis, but I've also decided where or when I'm going to play.

Whenever you want to ask someone a question, you can use any of the 3 future tenses; it just depends on what you want to ask, when you ask it, and the probability related to what you think the other person will answer you.

Here are some examples:
Where do you think you'll be in 10 years time? I use: will because I'm quite sure that the person I'm asking the question to, won't know where he or she will be in 10 years time.

Where are you going to go on holiday this Summer? I use: going to because I think that the person might have an idea of where they have the intention of going.
What are you doing tonight? I use: doing because tonight is very near and I'm sure that the person has something planned already.

So, now that you know how to use the 3 different future tenses, try chatting with some new friends on GoSpeakEnglish and ask them what they're going to do tonight?!

And that's the end of this lesson!

Now you can see if you've understood the video, and do the test on GoSpeakEnglish. You can also watch many other English video lessons on GoSpeakEnglish.

Thanks, and I hope to see you again soon!
 

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