Simple Future Tense

The simple future tense is what you use to convey actions and states of being that will occur at some future time. This tense can be expressed in two different ways, with the auxilliary word “will” and with the phrase “be going to.” The simple future tense denotes a specific period of time.

  • I will answer your email tomorrow.
  • She is going to apply to college in the fall.
  • They are going to leave the station at 4:32 PM.

Although “will” and “going to” can be used interchangeably, “will” implies a voluntary action or a promise, while “be going to” expresses a plan or future intention.

The simple future tense can also be used to state a prediction. “This spring will be prosperous” forecasts a hope rather than a specific event. Nevertheless, you use the simple present tense to convey this idea.

Forming the Simple Future Tense

Unlike the simple present and past, which are formed by changes to the root verb, you form the simple future tense by combining auxiliaries “will” or the “be going to” with the root verb.

  • I will get the job done.
  • He is going to leave the house by 9 AM.
  • The weather will be cloudy all week.

Making the Simple Future Tense Negative

To make the simple future tense negative, you simply insert “not” with “will” or “be going to,” followed by the root verb.

Remember: the contradiction of “will not” is “won’t.”

  • You won’t go to school while you still have a temperature.
  • They are not going to be the most concerned parents on the block.
  • We aren’t going to drive the whole distance in one day.

Phrasing the Simple Future Tense as a Question

Create an interrogative from the simple future tense by placing the auxiliary verb “will” or phrase “be going to,” followed by the subject and the root verb. Interrogatives can also begin with abverbs expressing time or place.

  • Are you going to Steve’s party?
  • Where will the party take place?
  • Are they going to study law or medicine when they grow up?

Learn more about verb tenses.