The Simple Future

Simple future: form

The simple future is composed of two parts: will / shall + the infinitive without ‘to’

Simple Future 3

Subjectwill
infinitive
without to
Hewillleave…
Affirmative
Iwillgo
Ishallgo
Negative
Theywill
not
see
Theywon’tsee
Interrogative
Willsheask?
Interrogative
negative
Won’tshetake?
Contractions
I will
I’ll
We will
we’ll
You will
you’ll
You will
you’ll
He,she, will
 he’ll, she’ll
They will
they’ll

NOTE: The
form ‘it will’ is not normally shortened.

Example: to see, simple future

AffirmativeNegative
Interrogative
I‘ll
see
I won’t seeWill I see?
*I
will / shall see
I shan’t
see
Shall I see?
You‘ll
see
You won’t
see
Will you
see?
He, she,
it
will see
He won’t
see
Will she
see?
We‘ll
see
We won’t
see
Will we see?
*We
will / shall see
We shan’t
see
Shall we
see?
You
will see
You won’t
see
Will you
see?
They‘ll
see
They won’t
see
Will they
see?

*NOTE: shall
is slightly dated but can be used instead of will with
I or we.

Simple future: function

The simple future refers to a time later than now, and expresses
facts or certainty. In this case there is no ‘attitude’.

The simple future
is used:

  • to predict a future event:
    It will rain tomorrow.
  • (with I/we)
    to express a spontaneous decision:
    I’ll pay
    for the tickets by credit card.
  • to express willingness:
    I’ll do
    the washing-up. He’ll carry your bag for you.
  • (in the negative form) to express unwillingness:
    The baby won’t eat his soup.
    I won’t leave until I’ve seen the manager!
  • (with I in the interrogative form) to make an offer:
    Shall I open
    the window?
  • (with we in the interrogative form) to make a suggestion:
    Shall we go
    to the cinema tonight?
  • (with I in the interrogative form) to ask for advice or instructions:
    What shall I tell the boss about this money?
  • (with you)
    to give orders:
    You will do
    exactly as I say.
  • (with you) to give an invitation:
    Will you come to the dance with me? Will you marry me?

NOTE: In modern English will is preferred to shall.

Shall
is mainly used with I and we to make an offer or suggestion (see examples (e) and (f) above, or to ask for advice (example (g) above).

With the other persons (you, he, she, they) shall is only used in literary or poetic situations, e.g.

  • With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, She shall
    have
    music wherever she goes.”

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