Quick Fire Guide To The Simple Future Tense

The future simple tense is one of 12 types of tenses in English. The future tense, in general, is used to talk about actions in the future. However, there are 4 types of future tense, and they all function differently.

In this article, we’re going to break down the simple future tense into 4 different categories, give you tons of example sentences and explain the grammar structure, so you can start creating your own future simple sentences!

Future Simple tense grammar

Future Simple: What Is It Used For?

What are you going to do when you get home tonight? What will you eat for dinner?

We generally use the simple future tense when discussing something happening and ending in the future.

We often refer to this tense as the ‘will tense’ because it’s made with the modal auxiliary verb of ‘will,’ however, as you’ll discover, that’s not the only auxiliary verb we use with this future tense.

We use the future simple in the following situations:

1) To discuss a future plan or activity.

  • I will go to the shops tomorrow.
  • I will meet her at the station.
  • She will be here in September.
  • They will bring food to the party.

2) To make predictions or assumptions about something in the future.

  • I think it will rain tomorrow.
  • He said he will win the competition.
  • They will be furious when they find out.
  • I don’t think they will be happy with this arrangement.

3) When asking questions about the future in the interrogative form of the simple future tense.

  • Will you study next year?
  • Will Christmas be busy this year?
  • Will you say yes?
  • Will they want to go for lunch?

4) To hypothesize reactions to future events.

  • I broke my parent’s car. If they find out, they will be so angry.
  • If I fail this exam, I will be so disappointed.
  • If you leave now, he will cry.
  • You will regret this decision!

5) When directly commanding someone to do something.

  • You will clean your room right now!
  • She will not be at school tomorrow! We will refuse to bring her.
  • We will file a complaint if you don’t give us a refund.
  • You will look into it. It’s part of your job.

6) When there isn’t a concrete plan.

  • One second, I will go and get a pen.
  • Maybe we will go to a concert tonight.

7) When a plan is made at the moment of speaking, here we can use ‘think’ instead of ‘will.’

  • I think I might go to the office tomorrow.

Next up, we’re going to look at how this tense functions in different situations.

Future Simple: Grammar Rules

The simple future tense is pretty simple to grasp once you understand its grammatical structure.

To form the future simple in the affirmative, we usually add ‘will’ before the main verb like this:

Subject + will + main verb (present participle) + extra information.

Note: The subject doesn’t change the ending of the main verb in the future simple, unlike other tenses. The subject is purely to give context and extra information. For example.

  • Sing becomes will sing
  • Dance becomes will sing
  • Walk becomes will walk
  • Sleep becomes will sleep

So, regardless of the subject, the ending of the main verb doesn’t change.

‘Shall vs. Will’

Sometimes ‘shall’ is used in the simple future tense instead of ‘will.’ However, it’s not a common practice for general English or informal writing, as you’re more likely to see this swap in formal legal documents, court orders, and formal writing.

Conjugating ‘To Be’ With ‘To Go.’

In informal everyday speech, native speakers will often use the following structure when forming a simple future phrase:

Subject + be + going to + main verb + extra information

In this structure, ‘be’ is conjugated to agree with the sentence’s subject.

For example:

  • I am going to…
  • She/he/it is going to…
  • They/we are going to…

Future Simple: Using Contractions

With the future simple, you can use contractions to make the sentence less complex and informal. For example:

  • She will becomes she’ll 
  • He will becomes he’ll
  • They will becomes they’ll
  • It will becomes it’ll
  • And so on.

Future Simple: Affirmative With Examples

When we use the simple future tense in affirmative, we start with the subject + ‘will’ + main present participle verb + extra information.

Example sentences with the future simple affirmative:

  • She’ll go on holiday next week, so we must finish the project as soon as possible.
  • We will work on an important project next week in class.
  • They will take their exams in the summer.

Future Simple: Negative With Examples

We can form the future simple in the negative by using the following structure:

Subject + ‘will’ + -not + main present participle verb + extra information

We can also use contractions to form the future simple in the negative.

  • Will not becomes won’t

For example:

  • She won’t…
  • He won’t…
  • They won’t…
  • It won’t…

Example sentences with the future simple negative:

  • She won’t pause the movie.
  • He won’t go to summer camp this year.
  • They will not have dinner at home tonight. They are eating at Sandra’s.

Future Simple: Interrogative With Examples

The future simple can also be used to ask interrogative questions. Let’s take a look:

‘Will’ / ‘Shall’ + subject + main present participle verb + extra information + ?

Example sentences with the future simple interrogative:

  • Will you eat at home tonight?
  • Will she be here on Friday?
  • Shall we order takeout tonight? Will we order takeout tonight?
  • Will they be there before us?

See, the simple future tense is pretty simple when it’s broken down. If you want to learn more, we’ve got plenty of other learning tools for you to dig into!