English Future Tense Comparison

Introduction

The future tenses in English Grammar are the simple future with will or going to, the future progressive, also future continuous, the future perfect and the future perfect progressive, also future perfect continuous. We use the various future tenses to express opinion, predictions, plans, arrangements and expectations for the future.

Learn the difference between the future tenses in English grammar and when to use them correctly in a sentence. With Lingolia’s interactive exercises, you can practise what you have learnt.

Example

It’s the last lesson at school today. The lesson finishes at half past two, so it lasts another 20 minutes.

Jack is thinking about the end of the school day. This afternoon he is playing football with his friends. Last time he did not play well and his team lost because of him. He is going to play better today. And the weather forecast says that it will be a sunny afternoon.

The teacher has just asked a question and Fiona is going to answer it. She has already raised her hand.

But then the teacher thinks, “I will ask Jack. Otherwise he will probably fall asleep.”

As Jack has been daydreaming the whole time, he does not know the answer. But he promises that he will pay attention in the future.

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Usage

The chart below provides an overview of tenses for talking about the future in English grammar: simple future with will and going to, simple present and present progressive.

tenseusage
future I (will)

event that cannot be influenced (weather)

Example:
It will be a sunny afternoon.

supposition about the future

Example:
Otherwise he will probably fall asleep.

promise

Example:
He promises that he will pay attention in the future.

spontaneous decision

Example:
But then the teacher thinks, “I will ask Jack.”
future I (going to)

someone has set plans for the future

Example:
He is going to play better today.

something indicates that a certain action is about to take place

Example:
Fiona is going to answer the question.

She has already raised her hand.

simple present

a set or determined time plan (train schedule, class schedule, etc.)

Example:
The lesson finishes at half past two, so It lasts another 20 minutes.
present progressive

set plans/appointments that have been agreed upon for the near future

Example:
This afternoon he is playing football with his friends.

Conjugation

For information on the conjugation of these tenses, see: