Future Tenses – What’s the difference?
Future tenses can be a struggle as these are events that have not yet happened. Additionally, we need to decide what kind of event it is (or will be?) The future continuous and the future perfect tenses are used to talk about events in the future. They can often be quite tricky. Have a look at the rules and examples below. If you have any questions just ask your lovely teachers!
The form for future continuous is (will be + ing)
We use the future continuous to talk about something that will be in progress at or around a time in the future.
- Don’t come at 7pm. I’ll be eating dinner.
- This time tomorrow we will be flying to Spain. I’m so excited!
Sometimes we use future continuous in sentences that are not about the future but about something we assume is happening at the moment.
- Don’t visit her now, she’ll be working.
- The children are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong!
The form for future perfect is (will have + past participle)
We use the future perfect to say that something will be finished at a particular time in the future.
- Do you think you will have finished it by next Thursday?
- In 10 years’ time I’ll have finished work and I’ll be able to retire at last!
We often use by or in in future perfect sentences.
- I think astronauts will have landed on mars by the year 2020.
- I’ll have finished by 5 and then you can use my computer.
In these sentences by ‘means no later than a particular time’. In ‘means within a period of time’.
Future Tenses – Practice Exercises
Complete the sentences with the world in the brackets.
- This time tomorrow, Maria _________ on a beach in Italy. (sunbathe)
- Wake me up by 9am, I ________ long enough by then. (sleep)
- Look, I can give you a lift to the station. I _________ that way anyway. (drive)
- It’s strange that when we get to Sydney, we _________half way round the world. (fly)
- Don’t phone me between 7 and 8. We __________dinner then. (have)