Speaking about the Future

We spoke about the future: present continuous / going to / will in episode 21
to recap = to summarize (resumir) / a recap = un resumen


We use the present simple for something scheduled or arranged (bus, train and plane timetables, school and college timetables, shop opening times etc):

The train to Barcelona leaves tomorrow at 9 o’clock.
What time does the bank open tomorrow? – It opens at 9.
When do you study French? My class starts at 2 o’clock.
What time does your plane leave when you go to Belfast? – It leaves at about half past five.
When’s your birthday?


We can use the present continuous for future plans or arrangements:

We’re having a podcaster’s Meetup tomorrow. Are you going?
I’m going away for Christmas this year.
What are you doing for Christmas? (Not: XWhat will you doX) – Reza is visiting his mother in Ireland.

We can use “(be) going to” to talk about our future plans and intentions:

“We’re going to have a podcaster’s Meetup tomorrow.” / “We’re going to go away for Christmas this year.” /
“Reza’s going to visit his family.” / “What are you going to do?”
“Bob is a medical student. He’s going to be a doctor.” (You CANNOT say XHe’s being a doctor.X) – It’s a future INTENTION which hasn’t been arranged yet).

We also use “(be) going to” When we can see that something is likely to happen:

Look at those clouds in the sky. I think it’s going to rain.
Look at that idiot on the bike. He’s going to fall off in a minute!

Be careful! You are going to spill your coffee. (to spill = derramar, verter)


You can also use the present perfect tense to speak about your plans:

We’ve decided to go to Taiwan for Christmas.
We’ve settled on Taiwan, after all. (to settle on = decidirse por)
We’ve opted for a holiday in Taiwan. (to opt for = optar por )
We’ve booked a trip to Taiwan.


We use will to talk about the future in specific situations:

When we make predictions:
Do you think it will rain next week?
It will (It’ll) be a nice day tomorrow. (It’ll be sunny)
Next week it’ll be windy.
I’m sure you will enjoy the film.

To make offers and promises:

I promise I’ll help you later.
I’ll see you tomorrow. (I promise to see you tomorrow)

Use will to express facts and talk about things that are true.

In a few days it’ll be 2016.
If you don’t drink water, you will die.

We can use will to mean ‘want to’ or ‘be willing to’ (willing to = dispuesto a):

I hope you’ll come to the Meeting tomorrow night. (Meetup.com)
Martin said he will help us record a future podcast.

Use will to talk about decisions made at the time of speaking:

I’ll have the fish.

We often use verbs like “would like“, “plan“, “want“, “intend“, “mean“, “hope“, “expect” to talk about the future:

I’d like to go to a conference in Birmingham next year.
Is there anything you hope to do this year? – Reza hopes to lose some weight. Craig plans to lose weight also.
Do you expect anything to change regarding your flat this year?
Is there anything that you intend to buy this year?.

We use modals “may“, “might“, and “could” when we are not sure about the future:

Reza might change many things in his flat.
He could re-wire the flat.
He might meet his friends at the cinema tomorrow.
Craig may get more organised next year. He might continue the same way as this year.

We can use “should” if we think something is likely to happen:

We should have finished recording these podcasts by lunchtime.
We should be home before midnight tomorrow.

Clauses with time words:
CAREFUL!!!In clauses with words like “when“, “after“, “before” and “until” we often use a present tense to talk about the future:

I’ll phone you when I get home. (not Xwill getX)
I won’t order the product until I know the price.
They are signing the contract after they have spoken with their lawyer.

Remember to clean behind your ears before you visit your grandmother tomorrow.

We can use the future continuous instead of the present continuous or going to for emphasis when we are talking about plans, arrangements and intentions:

We’ll be eating at 2 o’clock.
What do you think you’ll be doing this time next year? Craig will be recording another Christmas podcast?
How to ask people about their plans:
What are your plans for next year?
Have you decided what you’re doing for Easter or Fallas?
What are you up to next weekend?
Are you going to carry on podcasting with me next year, Reza?

…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. We want you to tell us about your future plans and goals. What do you intend to do in 2016?

*Dispones de más PODCAST en inglés publicados en los cuadernos anteriores
a los que puedes acceder directamente así como al índice de su contenido.


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