Introduction to Simple Future Tense
The simple future tense is a verb tense that is used to refer to actions that have not yet occurred. In English, we use this tense to talk about future events or states of being that we predict or know will happen. It is a critical aspect of English language and grammar, which is used quite frequently in both verbal and written communication.
Formation of Simple Future Tense
The simple future tense is typically formed by combining the auxiliary verb 'will' or 'shall' with the base form of the main verb. In some cases, the 'going to'-structure is used to indicate the future. However, for the scope of this tutorial, we will focus on the 'will'-structure and 'shall'-structure for future tense formation.
Therefore, the formula for constructing sentences in the simple future tense would be:
- Subject + will (shall) + Base Form of Verb + Object
Usage of Simple Future Tense
The simple future tense is used in several situations, including:
- Predictions and assumptions – For situations we believe are likely to happen in the future.
- Instant decisions – For decisions made at the moment of speaking.
- Promises/Threats/Warnings/Offers/Hopes – For the communication of expectations and intentions related to the future.
- Future Facts – For scenarios that are certain to happen in the future.
Examples of Simple Future Tense
To gain a clear understanding of the simple future tense, let's look at a few examples:
- Prediction: It will rain tomorrow.
- Instant Decision: I've forgotten my wallet. I will go and get it.
- Promise: I will not tell anyone your secret.
- Future Fact: The sun will rise in the East.
Simple Future Tense: Exceptions and Special Cases
As with many grammar rules, the simple future tense also has its exceptions and special cases that we must be aware of:
'Will' vs. 'Shall'
While both 'will' and 'shall' can be used to form the simple future tense, 'will' is used more commonly, especially in American English. 'Shall' is typically used in formal, legalistic, or technical contexts and is more common in British English. Moreover, 'shall' is more often used with the first person pronouns – 'I' and 'We'.
The use of ‘Be Going To’
Another way to express future actions is by using the structure 'be going to'. While it is not strictly the simple future tense, it is a common way to talk about future plans or intentions. For example:
- I am going to study for the exam tomorrow.
- She is going to buy a new car.
Negative Sentences in Simple Future Tense
We can also form negative sentences in the simple future tense by adding 'not' between 'will'/'shall' and the base form of the verb. For example:
- I will not go to the party tonight.
- They will not finish the project by tomorrow.
Interrogative Sentences in Simple Future Tense
To ask a question about the future, we can use the simple future tense by switching the position of the subject and 'will'/'shall'. For example:
- Will you come to the movie with us?
- Shall I open the window?
The simple future tense is an essential element of English grammar, which helps us articulate our thoughts, plans, and predictions about the future. While the basic structure and usage of the simple future tense are quite simple, remember to be aware of the exceptions and special cases that can arise.