The first two are called the Future Simple.
1. Will - used to make a prediction or talk about the future.
The form of the Future Simple with Will is very simple.
We use the word will and then the verb in the base form.
I will do my homework. This is a perfectly good sentence in the Future Simple. "Will" signifies that the action is in the future, and the verb "do" is the action. Let's write another one:
You will attend the meeting at 12:00 noon.
"will" is the marker for the future, and attend is the action.
2. Be Going To. - used to talk about plans in the future.
The form of Be Going to has to be conjugated to agree with the subject of the sentence.
I am going to . . .
He is going to
She is going to
It is going to
You are going to
We are going to
They are going to
I am going to set up my schedule for next week. This sentence is an action that indicates a plan for the future.
He is going to write the report next week.
In order to make this form of the Future more clear we often use a time marker such as next week. tomorrow, tonight, next year, next month
3. Present Simple talking about the Future: We use a time marker, either in the beginning or at the end of the present simple phrase.
The form is a regular Present Simple sentence.
I begin my new class next week. - Here the time marker is at the end of the sentence.
Next week, Cory starts his new job. - Here the time marker is at the beginning of the sentence.
4. Present Progressive talking about the Future - Actually "Be Going To" is a special form of the Present Progressive talking about the Future.
The form is the same as we used for Be Going To, but we can use any Present Progressive tense verbs. In order to make it more clear that we are talking about the Future, we use time expressions but this usage is more for the immediate Future, next week, tomorrow, or later today.
I am flying to Europe tomorrow.
She is leaving next week.
They are working on the project in the afternoon.
How do you know which form of the Future to use when speaking or writing?
Check whether the sentence needs more than one verb. If the sentence needs will, then you won't need an infinitive like to play
. I am going to play the piano now.
"to play" is an infinitive. When you use the Present Progressive or Be Going to, you will have an infinitive.
When the sentence uses the Future Simple with "will" there is not infinitive.
I will play the piano. Here the sentence does not need an infinitive. The verb 'play' is in the present tense.
Now use your new skills in the Future Tense and do this exercise.
Exercise: Print out this page and fill in the missing verbs in the Future, from words in the Word Box. There are more words than you need, and some may be used twice. You might have to conjugate verbs to make them fit the sentence. Some sentence can use more than one choice.
Word Box: will, be going to, plan, perform, see, hear, jump, sew, sing, dance, be flying, be leaving.
1. We ___________________ to France this year because I want to study French.
2. We ____________ go to London this summer because I _______________ study English at the University.
3. The company_______________ to expand next year.
4. Sam ______________ work at his new job in London, so I_____________be able to meet him for lunch at least once a week.
5. You _______________ start your new job next week.
6. David _________________ his new classical guitar compositions tonight at The Yellow Submarine Club.
7. The editor __________________ read ten books next month.
8. The computer hardware companies ____________ lay off workers, while the cellphone companies are expanding.
9. I ____________________see the new movie tomorrow night.
10. Tomorrow, she________________ the company.