Future Simple

The Future Simple tense is often called the “will tense” because we make the Future Simple with the modal auxiliary will.

How do we make the Future Simple tense?

The structure of the Future Simple tense is:

subject+auxiliary will+main verb
invariablebase
willV1

For negative sentences in the Future Simple tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the Future Simple tense:

subjectauxiliary verbmain verb
+Iwillopenthe door.
+Youwillfinishbefore me.
Shewillnotbeat school tomorrow.
Wewillnotleaveyet.
?Willyouarriveon time?
?Willtheywantdinner?

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

Contraction with Future Simple

When we use the Future Simple tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I willI’ll
you willyou’ll
he will
she will
it will
he’ll
she’ll
it’ll
we willwe’ll
they willthey’ll

In negative sentences, we contract with won’t, like this:

I will notI won’t
you will notyou won’t
he will not
she will not
it will not
he won’t
she won’t
it won’t
we will notwe won’t
they will notthey won’t

How do we use the Future Simple tense?

No Plan

We use the Future Simple tense when there is no plan or decision to do something before we speak. We make the decision spontaneously at the time of speaking. Look at these examples:

  • Hold on. I‘ll get a pen.
  • We will see what we can do to help you.
  • Maybe we‘ll stay in and watch television tonight.

In these examples, we had no firm plan before speaking. The decision is made at the time of speaking.

We often use the Future Simple tense with the verb to think before it:

  • think I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.
  • think I will have a holiday next year.
  • I don’t think I’ll buy that car.

Prediction

We often use the Future Simple tense to make a prediction about the future. Again, there is no firm plan. We are saying what we think will happen. Here are some examples:

  • It will rain tomorrow.
  • People won’t go to Jupiter before the 22nd century.
  • Who do you think will get the job?

Be

When the main verb is be, we can use the Future Simple tense even if we have a firm plan or decision before speaking. Examples:

  • I‘ll be in London tomorrow.
  • I’m going shopping. I won’t be very long.
  • Will you be at work tomorrow?

Note that when we have a plan or intention to do something in the future, we usually use other tenses or expressions, such as the present continuous or going to.