In grammar, a future tense is a verb form that generally marks the event described by the verb as not having happened yet, but expected to happen in the future. Let us quickly look at the four basic future tenses and some examples to understand them better.
Simple Future Tense: used for an action that will occur in the future. It is used to talk about things we cannot control and expresses the future as a fact (e.g. we will know our results next month), something we believe will happen (e.g. we will eat dinner by 9 PM) or if you decide to do something while speaking (e.g. It’s raining, I will take an umbrella)
Future Continuous Tense: used for an ongoing action that will occur in the future – structure being ‘will’ + ‘be’ + present participle of the verb (-ing) (E.g. I will be watching the match tonight on TV)
Future Perfect Tense: used to describe an action that will be completed in the future. Such sentences are formed by 'will' + 'have' + 'past participle of the verb'. (e.g. I will have left by the time you arrive at 9)
Future Perfect Continuous Tense: used for an action that is continuous and will be completed at some point in future. It is formed using 'will/shall' + 'have' + 'been' + 'the past participle of the verb (-ing) (e.g. Tomorrow at this time, I will have been swimming at the beach for four hours already) This tense is not very common.
Although this seems quite simple, there are quite a few common mistakes made by the general populate, especially when it comes to the usage of future tense. The most common mistakes made and their corrected versions are depicted below:
A. Missing out on 'am/is/are' when using the 'going to' form.
Wrong: "I going to play the match tomorrow."
Right: "I am going to play the match tomorrow."
B. Missing out on 'to' whence using the 'going to' form.
Wrong: "She is going that movie again."
Right: "She is going to watch/see that movie again."
C. Using the '-ing' form of the verb instead of the base form with 'going to' or 'will.'
Wrong: "He will winning the match."
Wrong: "He is going to winning the match."
Right: "He will win the match."
D. Adding 'to' when using 'will.'
Wrong: "They will to be sorry."
Right: "They will be sorry."
To avoid falling in this rut, we would also recommend that you have a look at this cheat sheet (below) that aptly gives us further insights to ensure that we use future tense correctly in our future communications.
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- By Chander Madan
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