Uses of the Four Forms of Future Tense

Future Tense pertains to actions that are proposed, planned, scheduled or expected to take place in the Future.

In simple terms, it means such actions have not yet taken place or shall take place at a later point in future.

The four forms of Future Tense are:

A.  Future Simple / Future Indefinite Tense

This is used to indicate activities that shall be done in future.

Structure: Subject +will/shall+V1 (base form of the Verb).

Example: We shall watch a movie tomorrow.

Future tense is used to express the following contexts:

1. Either promises or predictions.

Example: It will snow in the winter.

2.  A scheduled activity.

Example: The meeting will commence at sharp 6 p.m.


3.  A patterned activity.

Example: The car will move when you turn on the ignition.


4.  A Promise

Example: I shall help you with your homework.


5. As an Offer

Example: I shall make you a lemonade.

6. As a plan ( the phrase ‘going to’ is frequently used here in place of will/ shall)

Example: We are going to a picnic tomorrow.


7.       Used along with time clauses such as - as soon as, when, before, after.

Example: I will come as soon as my husband comes home.

We shall leave when you call.


Future Progressive / Future Continuous Tense

Future Tense is used to indicate ongoing actions that shall take place sometime in the future.

Structure: Subject +will/shall+be +V4. 


Future Continuous Tense is used for the following purposes:

1.  To express an activity that shall remain in continuation or process for some time in future.

Example: They will be arranging a dinner for you.

The workers shall be building an outhouse for the servants.

C. Future perfect Tense

This is used to indicate activities that will be completed at some point in the future or before the initiation of another activity, also in the future.

Structure: Subject + will/shall + have + V3.

It is used in the following contexts:

1. Activities that are scheduled to be completed at some time in the future.

Example: I shall have completed the project by today afternoon.

You will have eaten dinner by the time I come back home.

2.  Actions that are scheduled to be completed before the start of another activity which shall take place in the future.

3.  Example: They will have moved to London by this December.

We shall have refurbished our new house by the time of your next visit to India.


D. Future Perfect Progressive  / Continuous Tense

This used to indicate an activity that shall end in some time in future after having continued for some time in the future.

Example:  I shall have been living in New Delhi for 5 years by this December.

Structure: Subject + will/shall +have + been + V4.

Future perfect Continuous Tense is used in the following contexts:

1.   To indicate the duration of the ongoing activities that shall continue for some time in future before being completed.

Example: This December, I shall have been working as a teacher for 25 years.

You will have been sleeping for 12 hours by the time I come back home.

English Grammar and Composition

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