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The Future tenses The tense system The future is one of the most complex areas of the English language. So many different tenses and ideas can be used with future meanings. 1.The future simple e.g. I'll pick you up later. 2.The future continuous e.g. I'll be getting on the train at five p.m. 3.The future perfect e.g. I'll have finished my exams by Monday. 4.The future perfect continuous e.g. He'll have been driving for two hours before he reaches Paris. 5.Be going+ infinite e.g. It's going to rain later. 6.The present simple e.g. The train leaves platform five in ten minutes 7. The present continuous e.g I'm meeting her for coffee tomorrow. In this unit we will look at all of the above structures in more detail. There are normally a number of forms available for what you want to say, but forms 5 and 7 are the most frequently used. Please also note that tenses 6 and 7 above are normally used as present tenses, but also have future applications. Future simple Form Affirmative Negative I shall/will I will not/shall not, you will not etc. You will He/she/it will +verb We shall/will They will Question Negative Question Shall/will I? Will you? etc. Will/shall I not? Will you not? or Won't/Shan't I? etc. Contractions I'll, you'll, shan't, won't etc. Note: Shall/shan't (UK only) Usages Future facts and certainties .He'll be 28 in July. .Spring will start in March as usual. .When will you know? Promises .I'll put the check in the post. Predictions (Based on no present evidence, as opposed to 'be going to') .It'll rain before morning. Assumptions/speculations .That'll be the bailiffs at the door. .what will happen in next week's episode? .They'll have to sell the house, I expect. Spontaneous decisions (contrast with 'be going to' for planned decisions) I'll get my coat. Threats .You better go or I'll hit you. (Please note that this is really an alternative to the first conditional which you will come across in unit 16) Shall/will Shall is frequently used in making suggestions, invitations etc. In affirmative sentences its use has become more formal. Will generally expresses a stronger intention, coercion, or determination, than shall. What shall we do with the evidence? You shall go to the ball. Shall we dance. Where shall I send you mail? Shall I do that for you? Confusion between "be going to" and the future simple is common. Teaching ideas .Fortune telling/palm-reading. .With present simple in the time clauses. She'll be happy when we arrive. Going on a holiday/lost in the desert-what will you take. .Winning the lottery: what will you do? .Predicting future changes in the next X years using various topic. .Predicting what others will be like in X year. .Songs: "When I'm 64" by the Beatles. "You'll take the High Road" (traditional.) "That'll be the day" by Buddy Holly. Future continuous Form Subject+will+be+verb+ing (present participle) Affirmative Yes/no questions Negative We'll be waiting for you. Will you be holding a red rose? I won't be wearing a dress. Yes I will/No I won't. Usages The future continuous form is used in the following ways: .To say something will be in progress at a particular moment in the future- This time tomorrow I'll be lying on the beach. .To predict the present' to say what we think or guess might be happening now- John will probably be having lunch now. .For polite enquiries referring to other people's plans, but not to influence the listeners intentions-will you be coming to the party? .To refer to future events which are fixed or decied (without suggesting personal intention)-Professor Smith will be giving another lecture at the same time next week. Teaching Ideas Arranging diaries/dates "What will you be doing at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday? Trying to get out of the date from hell. .Can I see you on Friday? "No, I'll be washing my hair." "Saturday?" "NO, I'll be painting my toes." "Sunday?" "No, I'll be......", etc. Illustrative situations ."3 police cars are speeding through the night. They have just received information that a notorious criminal is playing roulette at this very moment in a gambling club"...What is the criminal doing at this moment? What will he be doing when the police get there? Future Perfect Form will+have+past participle Affirmative Yes/no questions Negative I have worked here for 2 years. Will you have worked..? She will not have worked... Yes I will./No I won't Usage The future perfect tense is used to say that something will have been done, completed or achieved by a certain time in the future. The builders says he'll have finished the roof by Monday. The car will soon have done 100,000 miles. The perfect structures are all relative. In case of the future perfect, we look back on the past (a completed action) from a future standpoint. That is "past in the future". A sentence with the future perfect generally uses an adverbial expression that signals when a future event will be completed. By the end of summer i will have completed this course. At the end of the year I will have mastered this computer! You will have reviewed the material before you sit the exam, I presume? When they arrive I will have finished cooking dinner. Function The future perfect can often be confused with future perfect continuous- the distinction between completion of action by a certain time in the future and how long something will have continued for by a certain time (future perfect continuous) need to be made. Teaching ideas Fill in the future diaries and elicit questions in the future perfect .What will you have done by... Invention of an extremely successful future career .Students tell each other what they will have done by certain ages/years choose a famous historical personage and note down important dates in his/her life .Students then explain by which age their character will have done certain things .by 1796 he will be married A romantic novelist writes 300 page books.. He/she writes ten pages a day and takes no holidays. Use the future perfect to answer the questions: .How many pages will she have written after ten days? .After a month? .After a year? .After ten years? .More questions/situations can be developed around this idea. Future Perfect Continuous Form will+have+been+verb+ing Affirmative Yes/no questions I will have been working for seven years. Will you have been working Yes, I will./No, I won't. Negative He will not have been working... Usage We can use the future perfect continuous to say how long something will have continued by a certain time. By the time you get here, I'll have been working for six hours. Compare this to the future perfect tense. What general rule could be applied to the teaching of the two forms? The future perfect continuous often incluedes an adverbial expression that begins with by. By next week I will have finished my work. By this time tomorrow I will be writing my test. Teaching idea How long will you have been learning English/working/going to school/living in your present house by next summer? be going+ infinite ('going to' future) Form verb 'to be' in the present, plus going to, plus base form of verb Affirmative Yes/no questions I am going to play football next week are you going to play football next week? yes, I am./no, I'm not. Negative I am not going to play football next week. This tense can cause confusion, as the structures looks very similar to the present continuous, especially when the present continuous form uses the verb 'to go'. The difference is that the 'be going to' structure is always followed by a verb. Usage Intentions .I'm not going to do it. Predictions based on present evidence .i think it's going to rain later! Plans (decisions made before speaking) .I am going to visit my family in April. The 'be going to' future's usage is frequently confused with the future simple. The two structures are often taught together to help students appreciate the differences. Teaching ideas Making holiday/birthday party plans. going to game (what an I going to draw/do/buy? Based around mime and prompts). Itinerary form a courier. For younger learners, plan what they are going to be when they grow up. Older learners can plan successful future careers. Make predictions based on evidence, such as weather forecasts etc. Song's: E.g. "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters. Present Simple Usages To suggest a more formal situation .Our new shop opens next month. For timetables and schedules .The train to Edinburgh leaves from platform 6 at 10:30 a.m. .We fly to Dublin on Sunday, then we go on to New York on Tuesday. To suggest a more impersonal tone (often implying an outside compulsion) .They leave tomorrow for Paris. .We start filming tomorrow. Teaching ideas Compiling or sharing information from airport or railway schedules. Writing press release about your company's future plans. Discussing weekly timetables. Present Continuous Usage For definite arrangements .We're taking our holiday in July. (We've booked it and bought the tickets) .I'm going for a drink later. For decisions and plans without a time frame .I'm leaving you. Teaching ideas diaries/Schedules- Any activity using future diaries can be given to students for completion. They then try to find a time when they are both free o meet for lunch, go to the cinema, etc.... Role-play- Secretary and client where the client is trying to make an appointment to see a busy boss. All of these kinds of activities should encourage the use of the present continuous for the future. I have a better understanding about the future tenses and the tense system. I am now able to understand the future simple, future continuous, future perfect, future perfect continuous, be going+infinitive ('going to' future), present simple and present continuous much more.
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