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Lesson 8.1

Future Simple

El futuro simple
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There are two main ways to express the future in English. They are sometimes interchangeable, but they often have different meanings.

Future: “Will”

Structure

Note: There is a short form for the modal verb “will” in both the affirmative and negative.

Afirmativo Forma corta Negativo Forma corta
  I will   I’ll   I will not  I won’t
  I’ll not
  you will   you’ll   you will not   you won’t
  you’ll not
  he will   he’ll   he will not   he won’t
  he’ll not
  she will   she’ll   she will not   she won’t
  she’ll not
  it will   it’ll   it will not   it won’t
  it’ll not
  we will   we’ll   we will not   we won’t
  we’ll not
  they will   they’ll   they will not   they won’t
  they’ll not

1. Affirmative Sentences

Subject + “will” + principal verb…

Examples:

 I will [I’ll] call you tonight.
 She will [She’ll] arrive late.
 They will [They’ll] be happy to see you.

2. Negative Sentences

Subject + “will” + “not” + principal verb…

Examples:

 I will not [won’t] call you tonight.
 She will not [won’t] arrive late.
 They will not [won’t] be happy to see you.

3. Interrogative Sentences

“Will” + subject + principal verb…?

Examples:

 Will you call me tonight?
 Will she arrive late?
 Will they be happy to see you?

Future: “Going to”

Structure

1. Affirmative Sentences

Subject + auxiliary verb (to be) + “going to” + principal verb…

Examples:

 I am going to call you tonight.
 She is going to arrive late.
 They are going to be happy to see you.

2. Negative Sentences

Subject + auxiliary verb (to be) + “not” + “going to” + principal verb…

Examples:

 I’m not going to call you tonight.
 She isn’t going to arrive late.
 They aren’t going to be happy to see you.

3. Interrogative Sentences

Auxiliary verb (to be) + subject + “going to” + principal verb…?

Examples:

 Are you going to call me tonight?
 Is she going to arrive late?
 Are they going to be happy to see you?
Note: For imminent actions or events, we can say “to be about to”. The structure is the same as “to be going to”.

Examples:

 I am about to leave.
 The concert is about to begin.

Uses

Both “will” and “to be going to” are used for expressing the future, but the use of one over the other implies something about the probability of the action occurring in the future. The aspect that differentiates “to be going to” with “will” is in the sense of “planning”. In general, “to be going to” is used for concrete plans, when we are quite certain that something is going to happen.

1. We use “will” with voluntary actions.

Examples:

 Will you help me move?
 They will clean their rooms.
 She won’t work with Paul.

2. “Will” is used to express a promise.

Examples:

 When I am president, I will lower taxes.
 He promises he will call when he arrives.

3. “To be going to” is used for plans; it indicates the intention to do something.

Examples:

 We are going to have a party tonight.
 Richard is going to take an English class.
 Are they going to play football later?

4. Either “will” or “to be going to” can be used for making predictions. When there is evidence that something is going to happen, we use “going to”.

Examples:

 It will be a great party. / It is going to be a great party.
 It won’t rain. / It isn’t going to rain.
Note: There are some situations in which we use the present continuous or the present simple to express actions in the future.

1. The present continuous can be used for actions in the near future or actions that are certain.

Examples:

 Sarah is arriving tonight.
 I am going to the doctor this afternoon.

2. We use the present simple for events scheduled in the future and timetables for trains, flights, etc.

Examples:

 The party starts at 9pm.
 The train leaves at 10am.
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