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Different Means of Expressing Future Action in The Literary English A source of literal English work is “Crystal Stair” English Grammar Practice Khrystyna Malychok Ph. E – 13 (I)
There are eight ways to express future action. You may use such tenses and constructions: 1. Future Simple 2. Future Continuous 3. Present Simple 4. Present Continuous 5. To be going to + infinitive 6. To be + infinitive (with to) 7. To be about to + infinitive 8. To be due to + infinitive
Future Simple Formation: Affirmative forms Interrogative forms Negative forms Subject + will + infinitive. Will + subject + infinitive? Subject + will not (won’t) + infinitive. I will work. He will work. She will work. We will work. You will work. They will work. Will I work? Will he work? Will she work? Will we work? Will you work? Will they work? I won’t work. He won’t work. She won’t work. We won’t work. You won’t work. They won’t work. * Usually nouns or pronouns are used as subject.
We use Future Simple: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. To inform about a sudden decision, taken at the moment of speaking. To express one’s hopes, fears, threats, offers, promises, warnings, predictions, requests, comments etc, especially with: expect, hope, believe, I’m sure, I’m afraid, probably etc. To talk about actions or predictions which may (or may not) happen in the future. Actions which we cannot control and will inevitably happen. To speak about things we are not yet sure about or we haven’t decided to do yet. Note: Shall is use with I/we in questions, suggestions, offers or when asking for advice.
Here are some examples to each rule: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. It’s dark in here. I will turn on the light. I hope he will like his birthday present. She will probably win. The snow will disappear in spring. Maybe I will buy a car. 1. 2. 3. 4. * Shall we play tennis? * Shall I open the window? I think you will find that you will pay for a higher stake tonight than you have ever done yet, and that the play will be more exiting [p. 220]. Ten will be early enough. I will be at Baker Street at ten [p. 219]. Your case is an exceedingly remarkable one, and I will be happy to look into it [p. 216]. No excuse will avail [p. 213]. * When shall you be able to enter upon your new duties?
Future Continuous Formation: Affirmative forms Subject + will be Interrogative forms Will + subject + be Negative forms Subject + will + verb + ing? not (won’t) + be + verb + ing. I will be working. He will be working. She will be working. We will be working. You will be working. They will be working. Will I be working. Will he be working. Will she be working. Will we be working. Will you be working. Will they be working. I won’t be working. He won’t be working. She won’t be working. We won’t be working. You won’t be working. They won’t be working. * You should remember that some verbs are not used in Continuous tenses.
We use Future Continuous: 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. To denote an actions which will be in progress at a definite moment in the future. To talk about actions which are the result of the routine (instead of Present Continuous). To ask politely about peoples plans, arrangements to see if they can do something for us or because we want to offer to do something for them. I will be skiing in the Alps this time next Christmas. I will be going to the bank tomorrow. (I go there every Friday – it’s a part of my routine) 3. 1. 2. I will be approaching Baker Street at ten [p. 219]. Are you going to translate that huge letter tonight [p. 67]? Will you be driving into town this afternoon? Can you give a lift? Note: The Future Continuous is very often used in modern English in the same meaning as the Future Simple.
Present Simple Formation: Affirmative forms Subject + verb Interrogative forms Do (or does – 3 Negative forms Subject + do + s (3 person singular only) (or does – 3 person singular only) not + + subject + verb? verb. I work. He works. She works. We work. You work. They work. Do I work? Does he work? Does she work? Do we work? Do you work? Do they work? I don’t work. He doesn’t work. She doesn’t work. We don’t work. You don’t work. They don’t work.
We use Present Simple: 1. 2. To indicate a future action which is certain to take place according to a timetable, program, schedule, command or arrangement worked out for a person officially. In this clause the sentence usually contains an indication of time. In subordinate clauses of time, condition and concession when the action refers to the future. a) b) c) 3. Clauses of time may be introduced by the conjunctions when, while, till, until, before, after, as soon as and once. Clauses of condition are introduced by the conjunctions if, unless, on condition (that), provided (providing) and in case. Clauses of concession are introduced by the conjunctions even if, even though, no matter how, whenever, whatever, however etc. With reference to the immediate future is structurally dependent in some special questions.
Here are some examples to each rule: 1. 2. 3. Ms. Desert’s ship sails tomorrow. Can you tell me when the game starts today? a) She won’t go to bed till you come. b) I must have a doctor handy, in case she feels worse. c) Even if he hates me I shall never do him any harm. What do we do next? Why don’t you go home? 1. 2. 3. 4. If you two take the first hansom, Watson and I will follow in the second [p. 220]. Then they will not lose a minute, for the sooner they do their work the longer time they will have fore their escape [p. 221]. Sarasate, the violinist, plays at the St. James’s Hall this afternoon [p. 217]. If you stay awake, you’ll find it a matter of time [p. 107].
Present Continuous Formation: Affirmative forms Interrogative forms Negative forms Subject + am, is, Am, is, are Subject + am, is, are + verb + ing. + subject + + not + verb + ing? I am working. He is working. She is working. We are working. You are working. They are working. Will I be working. Will he be working. Will she be working. Will we be working. Will you be working. Will they be working. I am (I’m) not working. He isn’t working. She isn’t working. We aren’t working. You aren’t working. They aren’t working. * Pay attention to the formation of the negative forms: you may say isn’t or aren’t but you must say am not or I’m not.
We use Present Continuous: To express a future action as a definitely settled due to one’s previous decision. The action is going to take place in the near future and the time is, as a rule, indicated in the sentence by means of such adverbial modifiers as tonight, next week, in a few days, etc. 1. 2. She is coming to lunch on Thursday. 1. Teddie is leaving here by the first train tomorrow. I am going through the city first, and we can have some lunch on the way [p. 217]. This use of The Present Continuous is also possible without any time indications and then the action usually refers to the immediate future. The action is regarded as fixed and the speaker is certain that it will take place. 1. 2. Fred is going to Italy and wants to say good-bye. Now I must go as we are dining out. 1. Jane is leaving Liverpool on Saturday. She’s going to, but maybe she won’t. I still hope so [p. 376].
To be going to + infinitive The “going-to form” mainly serves to express premeditated intention. That means that the person denoted by the subject has been planning for some time to perform the action, has been thinking of it, that some preparation for the action has been in progress. Indications of time are optional in this case. 1. 2. I’m going to tell him what I think of 1. him. Are you going to play tennis? How are you going to sell sneakers unless you can rave about them [p. 495]. The “going-to form” may also be used to show the speaker’s feeling that the action is imminent, that it is unavoidable in the near future. No indication of time is generally needed in this case. 1. 2. Oh, what is going to become of us? I’m afraid I’m going to cry. 1. “What are you going to do, then? ” I asked [p. 217]. * The verbs to go and to come are rarely found with the “going-to form”. Thus, He is going to go or He is going to come are uncommon in English. This verbs are generally used in the Present Continuous instead.
To be + infinitive (with to) In this combination to be is usually regarded as a modal verb. Like the Present Continuous, it serves to indicate previous arrangements, but in addition to that meaning it generally implies obligation resulting from that arrangement. The meaning of obligation may be so strong that “to be + infinitive” expresses orders or instructions which are to be carried out in the future. Besides it differs from the Present Continuous in that it does not necessarily refer the action to the near future. Since the previous arrangement is the basic meaning of this combination and the action always refers to the future, no special indication of time is needed in the sentence, though the time may be mentioned if necessary. 1. 2. This autumn he is entering the Military College. He is to make the army his career. Milly, you are not to talk like that in front of the child. 1. 2. I’ve got a letter from home. I’m to go back at once. I am to write a store about mama. I remember her very well [p. 414].
To be about to + infinitive To be “about to + infinitive” is used to say that something will happened very soon. In other words, it refers to the immediate future. 1. 2. Please, hurry up, because train is about to leave. Hurry up, the performance is just about to start. 1. When Ms. Jabes Wilson is about to leave, he stops the visitor and asks one more question [p. 213]. To be due to + infinitive We often use “due to” to refer to the timetables (similar to the Present simple). 1. 2. The plane is due to land at 2. 15. The concert is due to start at 18: 00 tomorrow.
To choose the correct form to refer to an event/state which will happen in the future, answer the following questions: 1. Is it a temporary event/state in the future? Ø Yes: go to number 2. 2. Will the event/state be finished by a certain moment in the future? • • Ø Yes: Future Perfect No: Future Continuous No : go to number 3. 3. Is it a prearranged future time-table which can’t be changed? • • Yes: Present Simple No: go to number 4. Is it a prearrangement that may be changed? • Yes: Present Continuous • No: Future Simple