Sunday, October 10, 2010

Simple Future

Simple Future has two different forms in English: "will" and "be going to." Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two very different meanings. These different meanings might seem too abstract at first, but with time and practice, the differences will become clear. Both "will" and "be going to" refer to a specific time in the future.


[will + verb]


* You will help him later.
* Will you help him later?
* You will not help him later.

FORM Be Going To

[am/is/are + going to + verb]


* You are going to meet Jane tonight.
* Are you going to meet Jane tonight?
* You are not going to meet Jane tonight.

Complete List of Simple Future Forms
USE 1 "Will" to Express a Voluntary Action

"Will" often suggests that a speaker will do something voluntarily. A voluntary action is one the speaker offers to do for someone else. Often, we use "will" to respond to someone else's complaint or request for help. We also use "will" when we request that someone help us or volunteer to do something for us. Similarly, we use "will not" or "won't" when we refuse to voluntarily do something.


* I will send you the information when I get it.
* I will translate the email, so Mr. Smith can read it.
* Will you help me move this heavy table?
* Will you make dinner?
* I will not do your homework for you.
* I won't do all the housework myself!
* A: I'm really hungry.
B: I'll make some sandwiches.
* A: I'm so tired. I'm about to fall asleep.
B: I'll get you some coffee.
* A: The phone is ringing.
B: I'll get it.

USE 2 "Will" to Express a Promise

"Will" is usually used in promises.


* I will call you when I arrive.
* If I am elected President of the United States, I will make sure everyone has access to inexpensive health insurance.
* I promise I will not tell him about the surprise party.
* Don't worry, I'll be careful.
* I won't tell anyone your secret.

USE 3 "Be going to" to Express a Plan

"Be going to" expresses that something is a plan. It expresses the idea that a person intends to do something in the future. It does not matter whether the plan is realistic or not.


* He is going to spend his vacation in Hawaii.
* She is not going to spend her vacation in Hawaii.
* A: When are we going to meet each other tonight?
B: We are going to meet at 6 PM.
* I'm going to be an actor when I grow up.
* Michelle is going to begin medical school next year.
* They are going to drive all the way to Alaska.
* Who are you going to invite to the party?
* A: Who is going to make John's birthday cake?
B: Sue is going to make John's birthday cake.

USE 4 "Will" or "Be Going to" to Express a Prediction

Both "will" and "be going to" can express the idea of a general prediction about the future. Predictions are guesses about what might happen in the future. In "prediction" sentences, the subject usually has little control over the future and therefore USES 1-3 do not apply. In the following examples, there is no difference in meaning.


* The year 2222 will be a very interesting year.
* The year 2222 is going to be a very interesting year.

* John Smith will be the next President.
* John Smith is going to be the next President.

* The movie "Zenith" will win several Academy Awards.
* The movie "Zenith" is going to win several Academy Awards.


In the Simple Future, it is not always clear which USE the speaker has in mind. Often, there is more than one way to interpret a sentence's meaning.
No Future in Time Clauses

Like all future forms, the Simple Future cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of Simple Future, Simple Present is used.


* When you will arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner. Not Correct
* When you arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner. Correct


The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.


* You will never help him.
* Will you ever help him?

* You are never going to meet Jane.
* Are you ever going to meet Jane?



* John will finish the work by 5:00 PM. Active
* The work will be finished by 5:00 PM. Passive

* Sally is going to make a beautiful dinner tonight. Active
* A beautiful dinner is going to be made by Sally tonight. Passive
The simple past tense is used to talk about actions that happened at a specific time in the past. You state when it happened using a time adverb.

You form the simple past of a verb by adding -ed onto the end of a regular verb but, irregular verb forms have to be learned.
To be
+ To be
- Questions ?
I was. I wasn't. Was I?
He was. He wasn't. Was he?
She was. She wasn't. Was she?
It was. It wasn't. Was it?
You were. You weren't. Were you?
We were. We weren't. Were we?
They were. They weren't. Were they?
Regular Verb (to work) Statements
+ Regular Verb (to work) Statements
- Questions Short answer
+ Short answer
I worked. I didn't work. Did I work? Yes, I did. No, I didn't.
He worked. He didn't work. Did he work? Yes, he did. No, he didn't.
She worked. She didn't work. Did she work? Yes, she did. No, she didn't.
It worked. It didn't work. Did it work? Yes, it did. No, it didn't.
You worked. You didn't work. Did you work? Yes you did. No, you didn't.
We worked. We didn't work. Did we work? Yes we did. No, we didn't.
They worked. They didn't work. Did they work? Yes they did. No, they didn't.

Simple Past Timeline
Simple past tense timeline

For example:

"Last year I took my exams."

"I got married in 1992."

It can be used to describe events that happened over a period of time in the past but not now.

For example:

"I lived in South Africa for two years."

The simple past tense is also used to talk about habitual or repeated actions that took place in the past.

For example:

"When I was a child we always went to the seaside on bank holidays."
Simple Past

[VERB+ed] or irregular verbs


* You called Debbie.
* Did you call Debbie?
* You did not call Debbie.

Complete List of Simple Past Forms
USE 1 Completed Action in the Past

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.


* I saw a movie yesterday.
* I didn't see a play yesterday.
* Last year, I traveled to Japan.
* Last year, I didn't travel to Korea.
* Did you have dinner last night?
* She washed her car.
* He didn't wash his car.

USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.


* I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
* He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
* Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?

USE 3 Duration in Past

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.


* I lived in Brazil for two years.
* Shauna studied Japanese for five years.
* They sat at the beach all day.
* They did not stay at the party the entire time.
* We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.
* A: How long did you wait for them?
B: We waited for one hour.

USE 4 Habits in the Past

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.


* I studied French when I was a child.
* He played the violin.
* He didn't play the piano.
* Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid?
* She worked at the movie theater after school.
* They never went to school, they always skipped class.

USE 5 Past Facts or Generalizations

The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. As in USE 4 above, this use of the Simple Past is quite similar to the expression "used to."


* She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
* He didn't like tomatoes before.
* Did you live in Texas when you were a kid?
* People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past.
Uses of the Simple Present Tense

Permanent truths

We use the Simple Present for statements that are always true:

-Summer follows spring. Gases expand when heated.

'The present period'

We use the Simple Present to refer to events, actions or situations which are true in the present period of time and which, for all we know, may continue indefinitely. What we are saying, in effect, is 'this is the situation as it stands at present':

-My father works in a bank. My sister wears glasses.

Habitual actions

The Simple Present can be used with or without an adverb of time to describe habitual actions, things that happen repeatedly:

-I get up at 7. John smokes a lot.

We can be more precise about habitual actions by using the Simple Present with adverbs of indefinite frequency (always, never, etc.) or with adverbial phrases such as every day:

-I sometimes stay up till midnight.

-She visits her parents every day.

We commonly use the Simple Present to ask and answer questions which begin with How often?:


-How often do you go to the dentist? - I go every six months.

Questions relating to habit can be asked with ever and answered with never:


-Do you ever eat meat? - No, I never eat meat.

Future reference

This use is often related to timetables and programmes or to events in the calendar:


-The exhibition opens on January 1st and closes on January 31st.

-The concert begins at 7.30 and ends at 9.30.

-We leave tomorrow at 11.15 and arrive at 17.50.

-Wednesday, May 24th marks our 25th wedding anniversary.

Observations and declarations

We commonly use the Simple Present with stative and other verbs to make observations and declarations in the course of conversation: e.g.


-I hope/assume/suppose/promise everything will be all right.

-I bet you were nervous just before your driving test.

-I declare this exhibition open.

-I see/hear there are roadworks in the street again.

-I love you. I hate him.

-We live in difficult times. - I agree.

Simple Present Tense in adverbial clauses of time: 'no future after temporals'

When the time clause refers to the future, we normally use the simple present after after, as soon as, before, by the time, directly, immediately, the moment, till, until and when where we might expect a Simple Future.


-The Owens will move to a new flat when their baby is born.

-I will go to the cinema after I finish my homework.

-You will get the dessert as soon as you finish your dinner.
Simple present

The simple present tense indicates an action in the present time which is not finished. This can be a habitual action (something done regularly such as brushing your teeth every day) or a general truth.

Some examples are:
1) a habitual action: I wash my car every Friday 2) a general truth: The Rolling Stones play rock'n roll

This tense is easy to conjugate in English because all terminations are the same except he/she/it (third person singlual) which adds an "s"

Some examples are:
Subject conjugated verb
I eat
You eat
She/He eats
We eat
You (plural) eat
They eat