Future Tense

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Future Tense? (with Examples)

The future tense is a verb tense used for a future activity or a future state of being. For example:
  • I will jump in the lake.
  • (This is a future activity.)
  • I will be happy.
  • (This is a future state of being.)
future tense examples
The tense of a verb is determined by when the action took place. The three main tenses are:

Examples of the Types of Future Tense

The future tense is categorized further depending on whether the action will be in progress or will be completed (called the aspect of a verb). The four future tenses are:
The 4 Future TensesExamplesUses
simple future tense
  • I will go.
  • We will celebrate our anniversary by flying to New York.
The simple future tense is used for an action that will occur in the future.
future progressive tense
  • I will be going.
  • The Moscow State Circus will be performing in Cheltenham for the next 3 weeks.
The future progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
future perfect tense
  • I will have gone.
  • By the time you arrive, we will have finished the meal and the speeches.
The future perfect tense is used to describe an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
future perfect progressive
  • I will have been going.
  • In July next year, you will have been studying for three years.
The future perfect progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.

More about the Simple Future Tense

Here is an infographic summarizing the simple future tense.
simple future tense

Examples of the Simple Future Tense

"will"
+
[base form of the verb]
  • I will play after breakfast.
  • Susan will not go to Germany.
  • What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. (Greek biographer Plutarch)
  • Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. (Author Og Mandino)
  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. (Physicist Albert Einstein)
  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. (Robert A Heinlein)
  • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. (Activist Martin Luther King Jr)
  • Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. (Chinese philosophe Confucius)
  • (Have to is known as a modal auxiliary verb. Like must, it is used to express obligation.)
  • Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill. (Producer Johnny Carson)
  • (Remember that won't is a contraction of will not and is often used to form the simple future tense.
  • I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend. (Singer Freddie Mercury)
Read more about the simple future tense.

More about the Future Progressive Tense

Here is an infographic summarizing the future progressive tense.
future progressive tense

Examples of the Future Progressive Tense

"will be"
+
[present participle]
  • I will be playing for an hour.
  • Will I be spending too much money if I buy the newer model?
  • He will be fighting his way to the boxing championship.
  • Always be nice to those younger than you because they are the ones who will be writing about you.
  • In September, we will be enjoying all the fruit we planted last March.
  • Those who are laughing now will be crying later.
  • Soon I will be doing what I love again. (Guitarist Vinnie Vincent)
  • I'll be performing at 80 years old. Music is like fashion - it changes. But some things will always be the same. (Singer Toni Braxton)
  • (Remember that I'll is a contraction of I will.)
  • Every breath you take. Every move you make. Every bond you break. Every step you take, I'll be watching you. (Singer Sting)
  • She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes.
  • (She'll is a contraction of she will.)
  • She'll be riding six white horses when she comes.
  • The next time you see a spider's web, please pause and look a little closer. You'll be seeing one of the most high-performance materials known to man. (Biologist Cheryl Hayashi)
  • (You'll is a contraction of you will.)
  • In my case, there's no revolving door. I won't be going back to government. (Politician Mary Schapiro)
  • (Won't is a contraction of will not.)
Read more about the future progressive tense.

More about the Future Perfect Tense

Here is an infographic summarizing the future perfect tense.
future perfect tense

Examples of the Future Perfect Tense

"will have"
+
[past participle]
  • I will have played by breakfast.
  • By September, Jenny will have taken over that role.
  • Will you have graduated by this time next year?
  • I hope that, when I leave this planet, I will have touched a few people in a positive way. (Actor Will Rothhaar)
  • The rain will not have stopped before the competition starts.
  • You won't have sold a single car by tomorrow if you stay here.
  • (Won't is a contraction of will not.)
Read more about the future perfect tense.

More about the Future Perfect Progressive Tense

Here is an infographic summarizing the future perfect progressive tense.
future perfect progressive tense

Examples of the Future Perfect Progressive Tense

"will have been"
+
[present participle]
  • I will have been playing for 2 hours by breakfast.
  • By the time the boat arrives, they will have been living without proper food for two weeks.
  • Shops that will have been running for three or two years by then will have to close down.
  • They will have been driving for ten hours by the time they arrive in Scotland.
  • If it rains again tomorrow, then it will have been raining for three days.
  • He will be agitated when he arrives because he will have been working for ten hours.
  • When you are promoted next year, how long will you have been working on the factory floor?
  • You will not have been waiting for over an hour when the taxi arrives. That's not true.
Read more about the future perfect progressive tense. The tables below show all 12 tenses so you can see the past progressive tense among the other tenses. (You can change the verb by clicking one of the green buttons.)

Top 10 Regular Verbs

Top 10 Irregular Verbs

All 4 Past Tenses

PersonSimple PastPast Progressive TensePast Perfect TensePast Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
The simple past tense is for a completed activity that happened in the past.
  • was present participle
  • were present participle
  • was present participle
  • were present participle
  • were present participle
  • were present participle
The past progressive tense is for an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
The past perfect tense is for emphasizing that an action was completed before another took place.
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
The past perfect progressive tense is for showing that an ongoing action in the past has ended.

All 4 Present Tenses

PersonSimple PresentPresent Progressive TensePresent Perfect TensePresent Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • base form
  • base form
  • 3rd pers sing present
  • base form
  • base form
  • base form
The simple present tense is mostly for a fact or a habit.
  • am present participle
  • are present participle
  • is present participle
  • are present participle
  • are present participle
  • are present participle
The present progressive tense is for an ongoing action in the present.
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
  • has past participle
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
The present perfect tense is for an action that began in the past. (Often, the action continues into the present.)
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • has been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
The present perfect progressive tense is for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present (or finished very recently).

All 4 Future Tenses

PersonSimple FutureFuture Progressive TenseFuture Perfect TenseFuture Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
The simple future tense is for an action that will occur in the future.
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
The future progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
The future perfect tense is for an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
The future perfect progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.

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See Also

Try our drag-and-drop test on verb tenses See all the tenses What is a verb phrase? Past tense Present tense Simple past tense Past progressive tense Past perfect tense Past perfect progressive tense Simple present tense Present progressive tense Present perfect tense Present perfect progressive tense Simple future tense Future progressive tense Future perfect tense Future perfect progressive tense Glossary of grammatical terms

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