in the Future
There are many different ways to talk about the future
in English. We use different verb
depending on what we want to say about the future.
In this lesson, we will learn how to talk about intentions
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
is something that we would like to do in the future. These are general
plans for the future.
we are talking about an intention, we have not taken specific, concrete
steps to achieve the action. We are just talking about something that
we hope to do in the future.
When we want to talk about our intentions in the future, we must use
with going to
This is the most correct way to talk about general plans for the future.
going to learn
how to dance!
I will learn
how to dance!
We don't generally use the simple
to talk about intentions. The best way to talk about intentions is with
the future with going to
Review the rules on how to form the future with going to here
before reviewing the examples below.
is so tired! He is
going to take a nice, long vacation this year.
(Bill doesn't have any specific plan for a vacation. He just knows he
going to learn to swim and dive so I won't feel scared
(He doesn't know when or how he will learn, but he would like to.)
- Ron says he is
going to start eating healthy someday.
(He has no specific diet plan or a date to change the way he eats.)
- I know smoking is bad for me. I'm going to quit
sometime this year.
(He doesn't know when he will quit, but he wants to.)
- He is
going to be just like his father when he grows up.
(He would like to be just like his father when he is a grown man.)
is a specific plan that we have for the future. We have taken real
steps to be sure we achieve this plan.
For example, we have called to reserve a table at a restaurant or we
have bought a plane ticket.
When we are talking about arrangements, we use the present
my doctor tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock. I made the appointment last
I will see
doctor tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock. I made the appointment last
Because we have made an appointment with the doctor, this is an
arrangement. We must use the present progressive to talk about
arrangements, not the simple future with will
Review the rules and formation of the present progressive here
before reading the examples below.
- Christina is meeting
Melanie for coffee this afternoon. They reserved a table at their
(They made specific plans and reserved the table ahead of time.)
- Denny is
starting a new job on Monday. He just had his final
interview. He's excited!
(Denny has made all the arrangements at the office and signed a
- Brad is
having a garage sale this weekend. He's put out signs and
organized everything he wants to sell.
(He has advertised for the garage sale. It is set for this weekend.)
- Maggie and Ginger are going
to the vet this afternoon at 6 o'clock. It's time for Ginger's annual
(They already have an appointment with the vet.)
- Fred and Joe are traveling
to Las Vegas in July. They have their tickets and are very happy about
(They have already bought tickets and made reservations for a specific
The difference between an intention and an arrangement is the
amount of planning we have done.
If we only have a general idea of
something we would like to do in the future, it is an intention
this case, we must use the future with going to
we have specific plans, reservations, or an appointment, we are talking
about an arrangement
In this case, we must use the present
making some examples of your own to help you remember how to use these
tenses to talk about your own intentions and arrangements in the future.