When To Use Future Simple: 15 cases

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In this article, we are looking at 15 cases of When To Use Future Simple in English.

It is an important topic. We use Future Simple every day when we talk about what we are going to do, where we will go, who we will meet, etc.

Pay attention please, you can also read detailed information about Future Simple.

Main Use Cases for Future Simple

  1. We use Future Simple when talking about a single event or fact that will or will not happen in the future. Thus, we are talking about simple, usual events or facts.

I will call a baggage carrier to help me.

He will finish his studies next year.

He will be here in a moment.

She will be back home in a couple of weeks.

The art gallery will open next week.

Future Simple Rule and Examples
Using Future Simple
  1. We use Future Simple to describe the state of an object in the future. For example, now I am studying law at the university. It means that in the future I will be a lawyer.

To form such a sentence, we use the future form of the verb to be:

will + be = will be

I will be a lawyer.

Jessica will be an excellent cook!

I like you, Jack! I am sure that we will be good friends!

  1. We use Future Simple when we talk about some kind of spontaneous decision. It could be an idea, thought, or decision that came up suddenly.

Somebody’s knocking on the door? I’ll open it!

I will take two more beers!

I will call him right now.

Example and rule when we use Future Simple, two drawn mugs of beer.
Example and rule. Future Simple.
  1. When we answer questions about something that will happen at a specific time in the future. Future Simple is well suited to formulate the answer to such a question. Because we use Future Simple when we talk about the future by indicating the exact time.

Question: When will you be ready?
Answer: I will be ready in 5 minutes!

Question: When will you paint the wall?
Answer: I will paint the wall next week.

Question: When will you get your exam results?
Answer: I will get the exam results in two days.

  1. We use the Future Simple when we offer to do something or help someone. In this case, we change will to shall. The word shall can only be used with the pronouns I or We. We form such a sentence in the form of a question.

Shall I help you?

Shall I pick you up by car?

Note: Remember that we rarely use shall in modern English.

  1. We also use the Future Simple when we talk about some action that will occur and will be repeated in the future.

Next week we will go to the cinema two times.

I will visit my grandmother two times next year.

  1. The Future Simple is good for making a promise to someone to do something.

I swear I will study well this year.

An example and explanation of one of the use cases of Future Simple, a photo of an open book and glasses.
Using Future Simple.
  1. We use the Future Simple when we talk about events in the future that will happen because nothing can be changed. Or there are factors due to which it must happen.

It’s raining! We’ll get wet!

The ship collided with an iceberg. We will drown!

  1. When we threaten someone.

I will catch you and send you to jail!

I will not let you steal this car!

Rule and one example of using Future Simple, drawing of a police officer.
An example of using Future Simple.
  1. When we give a warning.

Watch out, you will fall!

Don’t drive so fast, we’ll get into an accident.

Don’t laugh when you eat, you’ll choke!

  1. We use the Future Simple when we predict some events or actions.

This prediction is based on the personal opinion of the speaker. Often such predictions begin with the words I think, I expect, I’m sure, probably, be afraid, etc. These words indicate that this is the personal opinion of the speaker:

I suppose we will build this house ourselves!

I think he will not pass his exam.

I’m afraid we won’t come.

I think we will have a good holiday.

An example and rule of Future Simple, a drawing of a tourist bus and two surfboards.
Using Future Simple.

Attention: If you predict an event that is based not on personal opinion, but obvious facts, then you need to use be going to instead of will.

I am afraid this building will collapse soon.

In this sentence, we use will because it’s just an opinion. It starts with the words “I am afraid”. This is just what we think.

This building is going to collapse soon, there are big cracks in it!

In this sentence, we use to be going to because this assumption is not based on personal opinion, but on obvious facts, such as cracks in the house.

Will + Some Words and Phrases

Please note that when we begin a sentence with certain words or phrases, we can change the meaning of the sentence. Indeed, using the Future Simple we can express a large number of feelings and emotions if we start a sentence with phrases such as:

  • I think
  • I suppose
  • I hope
  • I am afraid
  • It seems
  • I swear

Using such phrases at the beginning of a sentence, we turn the sentence into a prediction, promise, persuasion, warning, etc.

Use phrases like this to spice things up with the Future Simple.

Examples:

I am afraid I will do it alone.

It seems he will lose the game.

I hope they will help us with the project.

Additional Cases when to use Future Simple

Let’s look at some more interesting cases where we can use Future Simple.

Will + Have To

We use have to and the Future Simple to express that someone must do something in the future. Such sentences are based on the following scheme:

Subject + will + have to + verb + rest of the sentence

Examples:

You will have to visit the doctor next week.

He will have to tell her the truth.

How to from and example of use will have to.
Will Have To.

Will and Indirect Question

Let’s take a look at another interesting case where we can use will. It happens when we form a subordinate clause that begins with the conjunction if or the conjunction whether. This is called an indirect question. Although there is no question mark or question word order in such sentences.

Such indirect questions are similar to conditional sentences. But in fact, indirect questions with the conjunctions if or whether ARE NOT conditional clauses.

Conditional clauses have a condition and a result. In indirect questions, there is no condition or result. In such questions, there is an alternative to what might happen. Take a look at examples:

I doubt if he will accept my advice.

I am wondering if he will carry off the prize.

We’ve come to ask the king if he will grant mercy.

I don’t know if he will visit us next Sunday.

Maggie wonders if she will share their fate.

I don’t know if she will be happy about that.

When to Use Will as Modal Verb?

It is one more way how we can use will. However, this has nothing to do with the future. Because in this case, we use will not as an auxiliary verb, but as a modal.

We use will as a modal verb to indicate that someone is unwilling to do something. Such an action refers to the present time, not to the future! Take a look at examples:

I feel angry with him because he won’t let me live my life.

I tried, but for whatever reason, he won’t let me help him.

I’m doing all I can, but she won’t talk.

Note: In colloquial speech, we emphasize the modal verb will with our voice making it clear that we are using will exactly as a modal verb.

Words Which We Often Use in Future Simple

In order not to be mistaken in what cases we can use Future Simple, let’s take a look at the following words that we often use with this tense:

  • tonight
  • next hour
  • next day
  • next year
  • soon
  • later
  • in seven days
  • in 2027
  • in a few months
  • in five months
  • in five years
  • as soon as
  • tomorrow

Examples:

The rain will stop in the next hour.

We will have an intensive afternoon tomorrow.

No doubt they will attack as soon as our ship crosses the border.

Remember, if we focus on the fact that the action will take place at exactly the specified time or between two points, then we do not use Future Simple, but Future Continuous.

Examples:

Future Simple: I’ll be at work at three in the afternoon.

Future Continuous: At three o’clock in the afternoon, I’ll be working.

Future Simple Usage Examples

Take a look at different examples of using Future Simple. Pay attention to how many different situations there are when we can apply this tense.

Promise: I will help you do your homework later.

Threat: I will catch you wherever you hide!

Assumption: I believe that John will not pass the exam.

A spontaneous decision: You know what? I’ll order another pizza!

Caution: Carefully! You will fall!

Prediction: It looks like he’ll arrive in the afternoon.

Please note that Future Simple is not the only way to talk about the future. In English, we also use:

The structures and tenses we use to talk about the future, the list, a guy looks through the binoculars against the background of the valley.
How to form the future in English.

You can also read the full article on Future Simple.

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