How to Use the Future Simple in English

Hello everyone,

Are you learning English and want to talk about future events?

The future simple tense is perfect for that!

It’s one of the easiest tenses to learn in English and very useful.

In this lesson, we’ll explain everything you need to know about correctly using the future simple tense.

What is the Future Simple Tense?

The future simple tense is used to talk about things that will happen in the future.

It’s called “simple” because its structure is very basic compared to other future tenses in English.

You don’t need to learn any complicated grammar rules to use it.

How to Form the Future Simple

There are two main ways to form the future simple tense:

1. Using “will” + base verb
2. Using “going to” + base verb

Let’s look at each of these in detail.

Using “will” + Base Verb

The most common way to form the future simple is by using “will” followed by the base form of the verb.

The base form is the simplest form of the verb, without any changes.

For example:

I will eat dinner at 7 PM.

She will travel to Japan next year.

They will finish the project by Friday.

Notice that the verb doesn’t change, no matter who is doing the action.

You just use “will” and then the base verb:

I will eat
You will eat
He/She/It will eat
We will eat
They will eat

It’s the same for any verb:

work → will work
play → will play
study → will study

Contractions with “Will”

In spoken English and informal writing, people often use contractions.

A contraction is when you combine two words to make them shorter. With “will,” you can do this:

I will → I’ll
You will → You’ll
He will → He’ll
She will → She’ll
It will → It’ll
We will → We’ll
They will → They’ll

So, you can say:

I’ll eat dinner at 7 PM.

She’ll travel to Japan next year.

They’ll finish the project by Friday.

Using “Going to” + Base Verb

Another common way to talk about the future is by using “going to” followed by the base verb.

This is often used when you have a plan or intention to do something. For example:

I am going to watch a movie tonight.

He is going to buy a new car.

They are going to visit their grandparents.

To form this, you use the present tense of “to be” (am, is, are) + “going to” + base verb:

I am going to watch

You are going to watch

He/She/It is going to watch

We are going to watch

They are going to watch

Contractions with “Going to”

Just like with “will,” you can use contractions with “going to”:

I am → I’m
You are → You’re
He is → He’s
She is → She’s
It is → It’s
We are → We’re
They are → They’re

So, you can say:

I’m going to watch a movie tonight.

He’s going to buy a new car.

They’re going to visit their grandparents.

When to Use the Future Simple

Now that you know how to form the future simple, let’s talk about when to use it.

There are several situations where this tense is appropriate:

Making Predictions: When you think something will happen in the future.

It will rain tomorrow.

The team will win the championship.

Decisions Made at the Moment: When you decide to do something right then and there.

The phone is ringing. I’ll get it!

You look tired. I’ll make you some tea.

Promises: When you promise to do something.

I will always love you.

I’ll pay you back next month, I promise.

Offers and Requests: When you offer help or ask for help.

I’ll help you with your homework.

Will you open the window, please?

Future Plans and Intentions: When you have a plan or intention to do something.

I’m going to study abroad next semester.

We’re going to redecorate our living room.

Scheduled Events: When something is scheduled to happen.

The movie will start at 8 PM.

My flight is going to depart at 6 AM.

“Will” vs. “Going to”: What’s the Difference?

Both “will” and “going to” are used to talk about the future, but there are some subtle differences:

Will: Often used for predictions, promises, decisions made at the moment, and requests.

I think it will be sunny tomorrow. (prediction)

I’ll never tell your secret. (promise)

I’ll have the salad, please. (decision at the moment)

Will you help me move? (request)

Going to: Often used for plans, intentions, and things that seem certain based on current evidence.

I’m going to learn Spanish this year. (plan)

We’re going to paint the house blue. (intention)

Look at those clouds! It’s going to rain. (certainty based on evidence)

In many cases, you can use either “will” or “going to” without much difference in meaning.

Don’t worry too much about choosing between them—both are correct.

Negative and Question Forms

Negative Form

To make the future simple negative, just add “not” after “will” or between “to be” and “going to”:

I will not (won’t) go to the party.
She is not (isn’t) going to attend the meeting.

Question Form

To make questions, put “will” or “to be” before the subject:

Will you marry me?

Are you going to apply for that job?

Time Expressions with Future Simple

When using the future simple, it’s common to include words or phrases that indicate future time:

– tomorrow
– next week/month/year
– in two days/weeks/months
– later
– soon
– tonight (when it hasn’t happened yet)

For example:

I’ll see you tomorrow.

She’s going to graduate next year.

They will arrive in three hours.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using “will” after “if” in conditional sentences:

This is incorrect. Use the present simple instead.

❌ If it will rain, I will stay home.
✅ If it rains, I will stay home.

Using future tense for scheduled events:

When talking about fixed schedules like train times, use the present simple.

❌ The train will leave at 5 PM.
✅ The train leaves at 5 PM.

Forgetting to use the base form:

Remember, after “will” or “going to,” always use the base verb.

❌ I will goes to the store.
✅ I will go to the store.

Practice Makes Perfect!

The best way to get comfortable with the future simple is to practice. Try these exercises:

Make sentences about your plans for next week using “going to.”

Example: I’m going to visit my parents next weekend.

Make predictions about the future using “will.”

Example: I think electric cars will be more common in the next decade.

Ask a friend about their future plans using questions with “will” and “going to.”

Example: Will you travel abroad this summer? / Are you going to change jobs soon?

Remember, language learning takes time.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—they’re part of the process.

The more you use the future simple in real conversations, the more natural it will become.

Final thoughts

The future simple tense in English is straightforward and incredibly useful.

Whether you’re making predictions, talking about plans, or just chatting about what’s next in your life, this tense has got you covered.

With just “will” or “going to” plus a base verb, you can express a wide range of future events.

Key points to remember:

Use “will” + base verb or “going to” + base verb

“Will” for predictions, promises, and spontaneous decisions

Going to” for plans, intentions, and near certainties

Don’t forget contractions for a more natural sound

Practice in real conversations to build confidence

Now that you understand how to use the future simple, you’re well-equipped to talk about your future in English.

Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be discussing your plans and making predictions with ease.

Good luck with your English learning journey!

_____________________

Check out these awesome grammar books I recommend:

High School English Gram & Comp – by WREN & MARTIN

English Grammar in Use Book with Answers: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Learners of English

OXFORD ENGLISH GRAMMAR COURSE ADVANCED WITH KEY (WITH EBOOK)

English Grammar (Language Workbooks) 

English Grammar: The Basics: The Basics

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