Schedules and Time Tables
in the Future


There are many different ways to talk about the future in English. We use different verb tenses depending on what we want to say about the future.

In this lesson, we will learn how to talk about schedules and time tables in the future.

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Schedules and time tables

A time table is a schedule that shows all the times a train, bus, or airline service has its trips. These times are fixed and do not change.

When we talk about a time table or scheduled events (the beginning of the school year or a national holiday, for example), we use the simple present. It is clear from the context that we are talking about the future.


Example
:

Correct: Katherine's flight leaves at 7:43pm.

Incorrect: Katherine's flight will leave at 7:43pm.

We don't use the simple future with will to talk about future schedules or time tables. We must use the simple present.

Review the rules on how to form the simple present here before reading the examples below.


More examples:

  • The semester ends on May 15th this year.
    (The date has been officially decided and announced.)

    The semester ends on May 15th this year.

  • The concert begins at 8pm, so we will have time for dinner first.
    (The concert is scheduled to begin at 8pm.)

    The concert begins at 8pm, so we will have time for dinner first.

  • The ship leaves port this Tuesday at 5am.
    (The ship's scheduled route is set to begin at 5am.)

    The ship leaves port this Tuesday at 5am.
  • Darren's flight leaves at 12:30pm.
    (That is the flight's scheduled departure time set by the airline.)

    Darren's flight leaves at 12:30pm.
  • Terry's favorite television program is on in an hour. She is going to read until then.
    (The program always starts at the same time of day.)


    Terry's favorite television program is on in an hour. She is going to read until then. 

We often use the simple present to talk about time tables related to modes of transportation (airplanes, buses, or trains).

But remember that we must be talking about an officially decided and announced schedule. We cannot use the simple present to talk about driving in a car, for example. That's because a car trip does not have an official schedule created by a company or organization.


Example:

Correct: We are going to leave at about 9am. Allen is going to drive.

Incorrect: We leave at around 9am. Allen drives.

When we are talking about a personal car trip, this is an intention we have for the future. Be sure to review the section on intentions and arrangements to remember the rules for talking about these general plans for the future.

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