Simple Future Tense

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What Is the Simple Future Tense? (with Examples)

The simple future tense is used for an action that will occur in the future. For example:
  • John will bake a cake.
  • They will paint the fence.

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the simple future tense:

Infographic for the Simple Future Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the simple future tense:

simple future tense

More Examples of the Simple Future Tense

Here are some examples of the simple future tense (shaded):
  • The Moscow State Circus will perform in Cheltenham next year.
  • We will celebrate our anniversary by flying to New York.
  • Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. (Author Og Mandino)
  • What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. (Greek biographer Plutarch)

Forming the Simple Future Tense

The simple future tense is formed:
"will"
+
[base form of the verb]
  • She will play.
  • Martin will paint.

The Negative Version

If you need the negative version, you can use the following word order:
"will not"
+
base form of verb
  • The Moscow State Circus will not perform in Cheltenham next year.
  • We won't celebrate our anniversary by flying to New York.
  • (Note: "Will not" can be shortened to "won't" in English.)

The Question Version

If you need to ask a question, you can use the following word order for a yes/no question:
"will"
+
[subject]
+
base form of verb
  • Will the Moscow State Circus perform in Cheltenham next year?
  • Will we celebrate our anniversary by flying to New York?
You can use the following word order for a question-word question:
[question word]
+
"will"
+
[subject]
+
base form of verb
  • When will the Moscow State Circus perform in Cheltenham?
  • How will we celebrate our anniversary in New York?
You can use the following word order for a choice question:
"will"
+
[subject]
+
base form of verb
+
choice A
+
or
+
choice B
  • Will the Moscow State Circus perform in Oxford or Cambridge?
  • Will we celebrate our anniversary on Friday or Saturday?

Contractions with the Simple Future Tense

Be aware that in speech and writing (particularly informal writing), it is common for will to be shortened to 'll. This is especially common when will follows a personal pronoun (e.g. I, he, she).
  • I will > I'll
  • he will > he'll
  • she will > she'll
  • it will > it'll
  • (This is not as common as the others.)
  • you will > you'll
  • we will > we'll
  • they will > they'll
  • who will > who'll
  • (This is not as common as the others.)

Getting Some Emphasis in There

Be aware that will can be stressed for emphasis. For example:
  • When will the cake be ready?
  • I can tell you now. She will be accepted.
  • (When looking for emphasis, you can't use the shortened versions. In other words, you can't use "she'll" in this example if you want to stress the word "will" for emphasis.)
With the negative version, the "not" is stressed. As before, you can't use the shortened version.
  • I will not tolerate sloppy drills.
  • (You can't use "I'll not" or "I won't" if you want to stress the word "not" for emphasis.)

Verb Tense Widget

Use this widget to learn about the different tenses. How do you use this widget? Well, if there's a button, a drop-down menu, or a , then you can click it!
to base form

( verb)

Select the tenses.

Present Tenses

Simple Present Tense The simple present tense is mostly used to describe facts and habits. More...(opens new tab) I base form you base form he/she/it 3rd pers sing present we base form you base form they base form Present Progressive Tense The present progressive tense is used for an ongoing action in the present. More...(opens new tab) I am present participle you are present participle he/she/it is present participle we are present participle you are present participle they are present participle Present Perfect Tense The present perfect tense is used for actions that began in the past. (Often, the actions continue into the present.) More...(opens new tab) I have past participle you have past participle he/she/it has past participle we have past participle you have past participle they have past participle Present Perfect Progressive Tense The present perfect progressive tense is used for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present, or a continuous activity that began in past but has now finished (usually very recently). More...(opens new tab) I have been present participle you have been present participle he/she/it has been present participle we have been present participle you have been present participle they have been present participle

Past Tenses

Simple Past The simple past tense is used to describe a completed activity that happened in the past. More...(opens new tab) I past tense you past tense he/she/it past tense we past tense you past tense they past tense Past Progressive Tense The past progressive tense is used to describe an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action. More...(opens new tab) I was present participle you were present participle he/she/it was present participle we were present participle you were present participle they were present participle Past Perfect Tense The past perfect tense is used to emphasize that an action was completed before another took place. More...(opens new tab) I had past participle you had past participle he/she/it had past participle we had past participle you had past participle they had past participle Past Perfect Progressive Tense The past perfect progressive tense is used to show that an ongoing action in the past has ended. More...(opens new tab) I had been present participle you had been present participle he/she/it had been present participle we had been present participle you had been present participle they had been present participle

Future Tenses

Simple Future The simple future tense is used for an action that will occur in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will base form you will base form he/she/it will base form we will base form you will base form they will base form Future Progressive Tense The future progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will occur in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will be present participle you will be present participle he/she/it will be present participle we will be present participle you will be present participle they will be present participle Future Perfect Tense The future perfect tense is used to describe an action that will have been completed at some point in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will have past participle you will have past participle he/she/it will have past participle we will have past participle you will have past participle they will have past participle Future Perfect Progressive Tense The future perfect progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will have been present participle you will have been present participle he/she/it will have been present participle we will have been present participle you will have been present participle they will have been present participle

The Other Future Tenses

The simple future tense is one of four future tenses. This table shows all four of the future tenses:
The 4 Future Tenses Example
simple future tense I will go
future progressive tense I will be going
future perfect tense I will have gone
future perfect progressive tense I will have been going

Slider Showing All the Tenses

The following slider shows all 12 tenses. The simple future tense is highlighted with a yellow background.
Ready for the Test?
Here is a confirmatory test for this lesson.

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See Also

Tenses 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 Future progressive tense Future perfect tense Future perfect progressive tense Glossary of grammatical terms