Even though the future is unpredictable, we talk about it all the time. We predict it; we plan it.
And to talk about it, we need future tenses. And to talk about something (an action) that you predict, promise, or plan in the future at a certain time, we need the Future Indefinite tense, which is commonly known as the Simple Future tense too.
When to use the Future indefinite tense?
We use the future indefinite tense to talk about something (an action) that occurs at a certain time in the future. The words that refer to the future time is called the future time marker.
Some future time markers: tomorrow, next day, next week, next month, next quarter, next year, next decade…
We use “will + V1” to form sentences in the Future Indefinite tense.
Future indefinite tense examples:
- I will call you tomorrow.
- My friend Monu will get married next month.
- The players will not show up today.
- She will cook in the evening.
- I will be there in 50 minutes.
- Will you take the class tomorrow?
- We will go to Goa next month.
- She will not come to the party tonight.
- You will be a successful person.
TIP: if the time when the action happens in the future is known to the speaker or is already understood, we don’t mention it in the sentence.
- You will be very rich.
(This will happen in the future sometime; I just don’t know when.)
- Yes, I will join you.
(Here, the time of the action is already known to both the speaker and the listener/reader.)
The Future indefinite tense structure
1. Assertive sentences
|Subject||will||v1||object/modifier||future time marker|
- Ron will take the class today.
- I will start a business next year.
- India will win the next match.
2. Negative sentences
|Subject||will + not||V1||object/modifier||future time marker|
- Ron will not take the class today.
- I won’t start a business next year.
- India won’t win the next match.
NOTE: WILL NOT is generally contracted to WON’T in spoken English.
3. Interrogative sentences
Use the following structure if you want to ask a question that can be answered in simple YES or NO:
|Will||subject||V1||object/modifier||future time marker?|
- Will you call me tonight?
- Will she come today?
- Will you propose her?
- Will they hire you?
To know the details of the event happened, use ‘WH’ question words before the auxiliary verb (will): what, when, where, why, how
|WH family||will||subject||V1||object/modifier||future time marker?|
- When will you get married?
- What will we leave for dinner?
- How will you beat him in the next match?
- Where will the next match happen?
- Why will they hire you?
The Future Indefinite tense usages
1. To talk about future plans
- We will visit our college tomorrow.
- The prime minister of India will inaugurate the tunnel on 25 December.
- They will get married next Sunday.
- They will open a hotel here soon.
- The match will be played here.
2. To give predictions about future events (with conviction)
- India will win this world cup.
- You will not clear the test. It’s too difficult for you.
- She will reject your proposal.
- It will not rain today.
- We will not reach there on time.
- You will be a great dancer one day.
3. To make promises
- I will never leave you.
- We will save the food for you.
- I will be here when you come back.
- Don’t worry. We will take care of your expenses.
4. To talk about instant decisions (generally with I & WE)
Sometimes, we make decisions on the spot, without thinking much. It is a spontaneous decision that we make at the time of speaking or listening to someone.
Jon: Sneha has just arrived at the airport, but there is no one to pick her up.
Ashish: Don’t worry. I will pick her up.
Monu: It’s lunchtime. Let’s go to the canteen and eat something.
Tom: I will eat here today.
Rahul: Man I lost my wallet in the morning, and I have no money to take a bus to my house.
Ashu: Listen, I will drop you at your place. I was anyway going in that direction.
- I’ll do the dishes. You can take some rest.
- I’ll just leave now.
- We’ll take this task.
- I’ll pay the bill. You guys can relax.
- I’ll drive the car today.
- We’ll talk to your father. Don’t worry about it.
5. To talk about willingness and unwillingness
Teacher: Who will take the class, today?
Me: I will do it, sir
- We will wait here for you. Go get the medicines.
- I won’t work with her anymore.
- She won’t see you.
TIP: In spoken English, the subject and the verb are usually contracted.
- I will = I’ll
- You will = you’ll
- We will = we’ll
- He will = he’ll
- She will = she’ll
- It will = it’ll
- They will = they’ll
- Will not = won’t
The Future Indefinite tense in Type 1 conditional sentences
A type 1 conditional sentence refers to a possible condition, which is in the Present Indefinite tense, and its probable result, which is in the Future Indefinite tense.
Here are the two ways to form a type 1 conditional sentence:
- If clause + result clause
- Result clause + if clause
|Result clause (future indefinite tense)||Conditional clause (Present indefinite tense)|
|You will start crying||if you listen to this song.|
|We will get wet||if it rains.|
|Everyone will be happy||if you get this job.|
|Conditional clause (Present indefinite tense)||Result clause (future indefinite tense)|
|If you apologize to her,||she will come back to you.|
|If it rains,||we will get wet.|
|If you work hard,||you will pass the test.|
TIP: Use a comma after the ‘IF CLAUSE’ if it comes in the beginning of a sentence.
WILL vs SHALL in the future indefinite tense
The use of SHALL in modern English has become archaic. WILL is used with all types of pronouns and nouns.
Traditionally, SHALL was used with first person pronouns (I & WE), and WILL was used with second (YOU) and third person pronouns (HE, SHE, IT, & THEY).
- I shall leave now.
- We shall order the food.
- He will not come back home today.
- She will get married this week.
- He will join us in the evening.
- They will take care of you.
SHALL, however, is still used in bureaucratic documents, generally written by the lawyers.
The Future indefinite tense passive voice
A sentence is formed in passive voice when the emphasis is given on the receiver of an action, rather than who does it.
- Future indefinite tense active voice: Subject + will + v1 + object
- Future indefinite tense passive voice: Object + will be + v3 + by subject (optional)
|Active voice||Passive voice|
|I will complete the task.||The task will be completed (by me).|
|We will arrange the party in an hour.||The party will be arranged in an hour.|
|The company will not hire you.||You won’t be hired.|
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