English with Nab

Future Tense: find out when to use “will” and “going to”

Future Tense: find out when to use “will” and “going to”

The future tense describes events that occur after the present moment. For example:

  • “I will go to school tomorrow.”

  • “There is going to be a storm tonight.”

  • “It will rain on Monday.”

The future verb form can be used in the following four aspects:

1) Future Simple is used to express voluntary actions, promises, plans, or predictions.

There are two structures that can be used:

will + verb infinitive


am/is/are + going to + verb infinitive

For example:

  • “He will come to class later.”

  • “I will help you later.”

  • “He is going to eat lunch at noon.”

  • Are you going to call me tomorrow?”

2) Future Continuous is used to

  • Indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future

  • Interrupt a short action in the future

  • Express the idea that both actions will be happening at the same time

  • Describe atmosphere at a specific point in the future

The structure is will be + base verb + ing (present participle)


am/is/are + going to be + base verb + ing (present participle)

For example:

  • “He will be staying at my house tonight.”

  • “He will be looking for me.”

  • “They are going to be sleeping at one o’clock in the morning.”

  • “She is going to be asking where you are.

3) Future Perfect is used to show the period between now and some point in the future when the action can be looked back upon and described.

The structure is will have + verb base + ed (past participle)


am/is/are + going to have + verb base + ed (past participle)

For example:

  • “I will have lived in three countries after I move to Malaysia.”

  • “If we go to Europe again this summer, we will have gone there twice in two years.”

  • “She is going to have worked for 10 days straight on Friday.”

4) Future Perfect Continuous is used to show that something will continue up until a particular event or time in the future, show that something stops at or before a reference point in the future, or to show cause and effect by using it before another action in the future.

The structure is will + have been + base verb + ing (present participle)


am/is/are + going to have been + present participle

For example:

  • “We will have been living together for more than two years in June.”

  • “They will have been sleeping for hours by the time I get home.”

“You are going to have been waiting for more than two hours by the time her plane finally arrives.”

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