Here it is, the last of the english tenses. The future is an interesting tense because it not only has the four sub-tenses, but also an extra sub tense. There are also two ways to use the present tense to imply a future action. All of this will be covered in this post; it may sound complicated but it will all make sense in the end!
The future simple is an easy tense that is used for facts, promises, predictions, and assumptions.
Affirmative: [Subject + Will + Verb]
I will pay for your ticket
Negative: [Subject + Will + Not + Verb]
You will not need an umbrella.
Question: [Will + Subject + Verb]
Will you open the door for me?
In this tense, the structure only needs the subject, the verb “will”, and the verb that is the action. It is used to state that something is going to happen in the future, but it is not a continuous action. Shall is a word that is used mostly in the UK, though most English speakers should understand it. Shall and the contraction shan’t can be used in place of will in any of these sentences, though it is usually used when making suggestions.
The future continuous is similar to the structure of other continuous tenses and it is used to state that something will be happening over a period of time in the future.
Affirmative: [Subject + Will + be + Verb + ing]
I will be eating lunch at 1pm tomorrow.
Negative: [Subject + Will + not + be + Verb + ing]
She will not be meeting us for dinner tonight.
Question: [Will + Subject + be + Verb + ing]
Will you be driving me to the airport saturday morning?
Like any other continuous tense, the verb is happening over a period of time. Because it is in the future and has not happend yet, we need to use “will” to indicate so. The verb “be” is used in conjunction with the “ing” ending on the acting verb to indicate that the action will be over a period of time. This tense can be used to say that something will be in progress in the future, to inquire about peoples plans, or to predict what someone be doing currently (Jim will be eating lunch in the cafeteria right now.)
Future perfect is used to indicate that something will have happened by a certain point in the future. Just as present and past perfect relates to the past, future perfect relates the past to the future.
Affirmative: [Subject + Will + have + Past Participle]
I will have eaten by 6pm.
Negative: [Subject + Will + not + have + Past Participle]
She will not have read the paper.
Question: [Will + Subject + have + Past Participle]
Will you have bought supplies by tuesday?
The future perfect continuous is used to state that in the future, something have been going one. This is to say that by a certain point in the future, this action will have already started and been happening. Whether it keeps happening after the specified point is not relevant to the case.
Affirmative: [Subject + Will + have + been + Verb + ing]
John will have been training for five months in May.
Negative: [Subject + Will + not + have + been + Verb + ing]
Jen will not have been working on that project.
Question: [Will + Subject + have + been + Verb + ing]
Will you have been studying by the time I get there?
One of the extra “tenses” for the future uses the verb “be going” and the infinitive of the verb used. This looks quite a bit like present continuous, but with this tense there is a verb following “going”.
Affirmative: [Subject + To be + going + infinitive Verb]
I am going to climb the Empire State Building tomorrow.
Negative: [Subject + To be + not + going + infinitive Verb]
I am not going to dress as Spiderman.
Question: [To be + Subject + going + infinitive Verb]
Are you going to join me for the climb?
This tense is often used for predictions, intentions, and plans. Because this tense is also confused with future simple, they are often taught together in order to show the differences.
Present simple and present continuous can be used in the future tense by placing a future point in time in the sentence. There is no change in the sentence structure other than the addition of a point in time in the future. Here are some examples:
I cook for the family next Tuesday.
I am running errands tomorrow.
Appart from the last few structures, the future tense is easy so long as you remember the simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous structures and usages.