Future tense in English. English time table

English has long taken the leading position among all other languages ​​spoken by residents of six continents. In most countries, it is studied in schools and universities as the first foreign language. If you are traveling and do not know the language of the country in which you are located, the likelihood of being addressed in English is actually 100%. Knowledge of the English employee of a reputable company today, employers are no longer perceived as a bonus, but as a requirement. That is why it is so difficult to overestimate the value of this knowledge and it is so important to start learning English right now.

What are the times

English is famous for its intricacy in terms of grammatical tenses. Ask any schoolchild or student if it is easy for them to learn English, and be sure that he will call this fact the main difficulty ...

future tense in English [

Unlike Russian in English grammar as much as 16 times! The three main ones are the present, the future, the past tense.They translate as Present, Future and Past respectively. At the same time, the future tense in English has also such a form as Future-in-Past, which is similar to our design “would”. Depending on what time and under what circumstances certain actions take place, the times are divided into 4 groups:

  • Simple.
  • Continuous.
  • Perfect.
  • Perfect Continuous.

A clearer picture of all the times can be obtained from the following table.

English time table
Simple Continuous Perfect Perfect continuous
Present I do I am doing I have done I have been doing
Past I did I was doing I have done I have been doing
Future I will do I will be doing I will have done I will have been done
Future-in-past I would do I would be doing I would have done I would have been doing

At first glance, it’s not easy to figure out so many grammatical times. If everything is more or less clear with the past, present and future, then how can a Russian-speaking person learn to distinguish, for example, the forms Simple and Continuous? And what is Perfect Continuous? Let's try to clarify everything by contacting Future Tense or the future tense.

Future Simple (Indefinite)

As you already understood, the future tense in English can be simple, long, perfect and perfect long. The first one is Future Simple. Affirmative sentences with him are based on the following scheme:

noun or pronoun + auxiliary verb will + verb I conjugation.

In negative sentences, not will be added to the fragment; the position of words remains unchanged.But if you need to ask a question, the phrase should look like this:

auxiliary verb will + noun or pronoun + verb I conjugation?

Future time in English

Future Simple is used:

  • if the speaker intends to perform an action in a certain period of time (I'll read this book tomorrow);
  • if the planned action will be repeated systematically (If you’ll call you everyday);
  • when a series of consecutive actions in the future is presented (Firstly I'll eat, then I’ll be your homework);
  • if the decision on the upcoming action is taken at the time of the conversation (If you want it, you can go out!

As a rule, simple future time is accompanied by such temporary adverbs as tomorrow, next weekend, everday, soon, in some days, etc.).

Future continuous

To form the future for a long time is a little more difficult than the previous one. In addition, it is important to understand in what situations to use it. The phrasing scheme looks like this:

noun or pronoun + will + be + verb I conjugation + ending -ing.

table of English times

In case of negation, the particle is not placed between will and be. The interrogative form practically does not change:

will + noun or pronoun + be + verb I conjugation + ending -ing?

The future tense in English, expressed by Future Continuous, is used:

  • if you want to show that the action will take place in a certain period of time (I'll be still sleeping when you come);
  • if the action is a kind of "prediction" (don't wait for me, I'll be coming back late).
  • when there is a clear indication of time, i.e. action is scheduled (Tomorrow I'll be leaving at 6 a.m.).

Future perfect

If you have already come across the Perfect form, studying other times in English, then you know that it indicates the completeness of the action. In which cases the action in the future can be considered complete? First of all, if it is assumed that by a certain moment it will be done (I'll have done it). Temporary designations (by 5 p.m.), adverbs (then, before), and also context help to understand this fact.

Affirmative offers with Future Perfect are as follows:

noun or pronoun + will + have + verb III conjugations.

The particle not in denial separates the will and have verbs. The interrogative form looks like this:

will + noun or pronoun + have + verb conjugation III?

Sometimes in journalism or letters you can find sentences like "You'll have heard that my uncle is very ill". Such a construction has nothing to do with future time, but serves to denote the assumption: "You must have heard that my uncle is very sick."

Future perfect continuous

Now this future tense in English is used extremely rarely. Agree, it is difficult to imagine a situation with a long-term action in the future, which is also completed. But nevertheless it is necessary to say about him.

Future Perfect Continiuous is formed according to a scheme that combines the features of both long and perfect future tense:

noun or pronoun +will +have + been + verb I conjugations with -ing.

As always, negation does not follow the auxiliary verb will, which, when asked, is transferred to the beginning of the sentence.

simple future time

A future perfect for a long time indicates an action that originates before another action that has not yet happened, but when it finally happens, the first action will be already completed ... Confused? Let's try to understand by example: "I'll have been working here for 50 years by next year". That is, someone started working "here" 49 years ago and continues to this day, and next year this event will turn 50 years old. It turns out that the action will be completed (after all, he has already crossed the barrier of 50 years), but at the same time the speaker indicates a certain period, which, in turn, shows that all this time the action (have been working) was carried out in the process. Most often, such complex temporal relationships are transmitted by the prepositions by or for.


The last form of the future tense, which we translate into Russian with the help of the construct “would”, is called “future in the past” in English.There are many situations in which it could be used, and most often similar sentences and phrases are accompanied by the verbs "thought", "said", etc. For example, "I thought he would come back yesterday." In this case, the time is simple and is based on the type of Future Simple. Only the auxiliary verb will turns into would, meaning past tense:

noun or pronoun + would + verb I conjugation.

Now we give an example of Future-in-Past Continuous: "What is it? You have been playing!". It is clear that here the scheme of the proposal is similar to Future Continuous:

noun or pronoun + would + be + verb I conjugation + ending -ing.

present future past tense

As for Future-in-Past Perfect, then everything is more complicated: "I thought that I would make it before the dinner." The action had to be completed at some point. As the table of English times is shown, such a sentence is structured as follows:

noun or pronoun + would + have + verb conjugation III.

Well, at the end of all the favorite form of Future-in-Past Perfect Continuous, which you are unlikely to ever meet. Even the authors of books do not bother to use it. Let us recall an example from the previous paragraph and try to turn it into a "future in the past": "He said he would have been working for 50 years by next year." From this it follows that the algorithm for constructing an affirmative phrase is:

noun or pronoun +would +have + been + verb I conjugations with -ing.

Construction to be going to

Future tense in English can also be expressed by the construct to be going to do smth., Which can be translated into Russian as "going to do something". It is used in situations where the action is planned and happens in the near future (I'm going to cook turkey oday?). From the example it can be seen that the sentence is constructed as follows:

noun or pronoun + corresponding declination of the verb be + going + infinitive of the verb.

tenses in English

It is very important to remember that to be going to is not used if words like "go" or "come" are the infinitive. In these cases, you need to build a phrase with the help of Present Continuous. That is, instead of "I'm going to go to New York," it would be better to say "I'm going to New York."


In general, to understand the English grammatical times is not as difficult as it seems. Moreover, some of them are practically not used in real life. The future tense in English, which was discussed in detail in this article, although it has many forms, is in fact not much different from the future tense in Russian. The only thing that a person learning English grammar should learn is to feel slight shades of actions and the moment they occur or occur. Gradually mastering the language, you will realize that it is not difficult at all.

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