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  • Writer's pictureA. Gulvin Translation

Talking About the Future #1

Interestingly, the typical 'future tense' using #will is not the only way to talk about the future in English. In fact, it is often the tense non-native speakers understandably fixate on as being the 'future tense' and this can cause lots of confusion for native and non-native speaker interactions!

In this series of posts, we'll look at when and when not to use the future tense with #will, and what other alternatives are out there for different situations. In our first post...

'Present simple' for FUTURE

Present simple of the verb 'to be' = I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, they are.

The present simple is pretty much the first verb tense you come to when you start learning English. Actually, it often confuses English learners due to it's rather unexpected usage. Despite being called the #present tense, for instance, we don't actually use it to describe things we are doing right now! We use the #presentcontinuous (#ing) for that.

What is often a surprise to non-native speakers, though, is that we also use the #presentsimple to talk about the #future!


PRE-SET TIMETABLE (scheduled by somebody else) i.e. events to attend, appointments to keep, planes, buses, trains to catch


Public transport (plane, bus, train)

What time does your plane arrive tomorrow? I'll come and pick you up from the airport.

Football match

The match kicks off at 7pm and I don't want to miss it.


I'm going to the Katy Perry concert on Saturday night. It starts at about 8pm.

University lecture

My English lecture finishes at 1.30pm so we could meet for a late lunch?

Dentist's appointment

I've got an appointment with the dentist tomorrow at 2pm.

Native speakers nearly always use the #presentsimple to describe events that have been scheduled by somebody else. This could be the government, a sports association, a transport company, a university, a school, a yoga instructor - pretty much any event which has a scheduled start or finish time that you are not in control of. Think of this as being something in your diary that you cannot change (you can only cancel).

Next post, in Talking About the Future #2, we'll look at using the #presentcontinuous (-ING) for the future.

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