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Learn English - English Grammar Quick Review: Tenses
Learn English: Future Tenses
 More of this Feature
• Learn English: Present Tenses
• Learn English: Past Tenses
• Learn English: Future Tenses
  Related Resources
• English Tenses Timeline
• English Tenses Review 1: Naming Tenses
• English Tenses Review 2: Conjugating
 From Other Guides
• French Grammar
• German Grammar
• Italian Grammar
• Japanese Tenses

This grammar reference section provides a quick review of the basic tenses used in English.

Importance of the Auxiliary Verb

In English, tenses are formed by conjugating an auxiliary verb plus a standard form of the principle verb (the base form, the gerund form, or the past participle form). It is import to focus on the variations in the auxiliary verb to properly use English tenses.

Symbols Used:

S (subject)
Aux (auxiliary verb)
O (objects)
? (question word, i.e., who, what when, etc.)


In general, using the following patterns to construct sentences in active sentences.

Positive: S + Verb + O
Negative:S + Aux + Verb + O
Question:(?)+ Aux + S + Verb + (O)

Future with 'Will'

Use the future with 'will' to:

  • Make a future prediction
  • Express a decision made about the future at the moment (spontaneous reactions to events)
  • Make a promise
  • Think about future possibilities


It will rain tomorrow.
I think he won't attend the meeting.
Oh! You're all wet. I'll fetch you a blanket.

Future with 'Going to'

Use the future with 'going to' to speak about future intentions or plans made before the present moment.


We are going to study abroad next semester.
Who are you going to visit in Seattle?
Peter isn't going to attend next week's meeting.

Future Continuous

Use the future continuous to speak about an activity that will be happening at a precise point in time in the future.


I'll be playing tennis at four this afternoon.
When you arrive in Boston, I'll be sleeping soundly in my bed.
What will you be doing this time next week?

Future Perfect

Use the future perfect to express something that will have been done up to a precise point in time in the future.


She'll have read the book by the time you arrive.
I'm afraid we won't have finished by the end of tomorrow afternoon.
What will you have studied by the time you finish college?

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