What Is the Simple Future Tense? (with Examples)

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Simple Future Tense

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 , you can click it!

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.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

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