How to Talk About the Future

Ways of talking about the future

1) We use will for statements about the future, and for predictions about the future. It often expresses the future as fact – so it’s used for very strong opinions or predictions. It can also be used for instant decisions made at the time of speaking.

  • In 100 years’ time, everyone will have an electric car.

2) Be going to is used for present situations that extend into the future, or for something you want to do. There is often present evidence for the prediction.

  • The government is going to raise fuel taxes.

3) The present continuous is used for arrangements. It’s very similar to going to for intention.

  • I’m cooking for six guests next week.

4) The present simple is used for timetabled events.

  • The meal starts at six.

5) In addition, we can use be about to talk about that will happen in the near future.

  • Quick, the film is about to start!
  • We’re about to leave. Get on the bus.

6) Some normal verbs also indicate plans and intentions for the future.

  • plan to study photography next year.
  • aim to be finished by 8pm.
  • Mark intends to move to Berlin.
  • We’ve arranged to meet next Monday.
  • She decided to take the train tomorrow.

Form –  How to Talk About the Future

Will: subject + will + infinitive
Be going to: subject + am/are/is going to + base form of verb
Present continuous: subject + am/are/is + ing form of verb
Present simple: subject + verb
About to: subject + am/are/is about to + base form
Normal verbs: use as usual, followed by to + base form of verb