Future Tenses in English - contrasted

Future Tenses
will-future
going to-future
Simple Present
Present Progressive
Future Progressive
Future Perfect
Past Tenses in English - contrasted
Present Tenses in English - contrasted
Exercises

1) Use

will-future going to-future Simple Present Present Progressive Future Progressive Future Perfect
prediction, assumption;
spontaneous action;
action happens without the speakers's intention
planned action in the future;
logical consequence (sth. is going to happen)
future action is fixed (e.g. timetable) planned action in the near future action will definitely happen (it usually happens) sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future

There is often very little difference between the future tenses. It often depends where you live (in Britain or the USA) and when you use the sentence (in spoken or written communication).

In newsapapers we often use the will-future, when the going to-future is used in oral communication.

newspaper:
The headmaster will close the old gym.

oral:
The headmaster is going to close the old gym.


We can substitute the going to-future with the Present Progressive when using an expression of time.

She is going to see Frank at the airport at 8.30.
She is seeing Frank at the airport at 8.30.

2) Signal words

There are no unambiguous signal words for the future tenses. That's why watch the actions carefully and then define the tense.

3) Form

will-future going to-future Simple Present Present Progressive Future Progressive Future Perfect
will + infinitive

to be
(am, are, is) + going to + infinitive

infinitive
3rd person singular (he, she, it) infinitive + -s
to be
(am, are, is) + infinitive + -ing
will + be + infinitive + -ing will + have + past participle

4) Examples

will-future going to-future Simple Present Present Progressive Future Progressive Future Perfect
4-1 Affirmative sentences
He will carry this bag for you. We are going to fly to Leeds in summer. The train leaves at 6.45. I am going to a party tonight. They will be playing football on Sunday afternoon. She will have written the letter by tomorrow.

will-future going to-future Simple Present Present Progressive Future Progressive Future Perfect
4-2 Negative sentences
He will not carry this bag for you. We are not going to fly to Leeds in summer. The train does not leave at 6.45. I am not going to a party tonight. They will not be playing football on Sunday afternoon. She will not have written the letter by tomorrow.

will-future going to-future Simple Present Present Progressive Future Progressive Future Perfect
4-3 Questions
Will he carry this bag for you? Are we going to fly to Leeds in summer? Does the train leave at 6.45? Am I going to a party tonight? Will they be playing football on Sunday afternoon. Will she have written the letter by tomorrow.
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