Hi everyone! Abbe from MosaLingua here. Welcome back to our series of English grammar hacks! Today, we’re talking about the future in English. There are lots of ways to talk about the future which is a good thing for learners. Even if you don’t remember them all, if you can remember at least one, you’ll be able to get your message across.
Here’s the most basic way: even before you master the future tense you can rely on vocabulary words to help convey meaning. For example: if you say “I go to the park tomorrow” even though it’s not correct English, the signal word “tomorrow” lets people know that you are talking about the future.
Talking about the future in English | English Grammar Hacks
Talking about the future in English | English Grammar Hacks (Video)
Talking about the future in English | English Grammar Hacks (Transcript)
If you watched our video about the present, you’ll remember that we can actually talk about the future using present tenses. While the last example wasn’t correct, if you change it to the present continuous, your sentence will be perfect.”I’m going to the park tomorrow”
As a reminder, the present continuous is formed like this: First, conjugate the verb “to be” for whichever person you are talking about “I am” “you are” “he or she is” “we are” “they are”. Then take the infinitive form of the verb and add -ing to the end. It’s helpful to use signal words with this form as well.
For example, “I’m watching a movie at 7 o’clock tonight” or “I’m meeting a friend for coffee later”. This is a worry-free solution if you don’t want to deal with the future tense, but the actual future tense isn’t difficult either. All you have to do to form it is replace “to” and the infinitive with “will”. You can also use the form “be going” with the infinitive. Some grammar books will tell you that you need to learn subtle differences to be able to decide which form to use, but in 80% of cases, they really are interchangeable.
You can use whichever one you are more comfortable with or use both. Here’s a tip: if you want to sound as much like a native speaker as possible pick “going to”. In the few cases where is important to pick one over the other, even if you choose the “wrong” one, your sentence will still be easily understood. Another tip to sound more like a native when speaking is to use the contractions “I’ll” and “you’ll” instead of the long forms “I will” and “you will”. So that’s all for today! Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave us a comment if you found this helpful or if you have any questions. Happy learning and see you next time!
You can also listen to the podcast version of this article with MosaLingua Language Lab: