Future Simple Tense: Definition, Structure, and Usage

The simple future tense allows us to talk about events or actions that haven’t happened yet. Whether it’s a promise, prediction, or plan, we know it’s yet to happen. This tense can be used to describe an action or situation that will take place or to emphasize that something will come into existence.

For example:

  • I will go to the store later, so let me know if you need anything. 
  • She is going to raise money for summer camp. 
  • My band will travel on tour next month. 

How Do You Form the Future Simple Tense?

The simple future tense has several primary uses. First, it can express a voluntary action that someone will do. Additionally, it can be used to make promises, make predictions, and outline plans.

Let’s look at how you can form sentences in the future simple tense form.

The Future Simple Tense Formulas

You can use two different future simple tense formulas: the “will” or “be going to” sentence structure. 

The “Will” Sentence Structure

The “will” sentence structure of the simple future tense is made of “will” followed by the base form of the verb. This is also called the casual form or common verb form of the simple future tense.

The formula to create the “will” future simple tense is:

  • Will + verb base form

For example:

  • I will submit my homework on time.
  • She will walk to school. 
  • They will play volleyball on Saturday. 

The “Be Going to” Sentence Structure

This variation of the simple future tense uses the “be going to” phrase. This form still shows that an action will occur in the future. 

The formula to create the “be going to” future simple tense is:

  • am/is/are + going to + root form verb

For example:

  • I am going to submit my paper on time.
  • She is going to walk to school. 
  • They are going to play volleyball on Saturday. 

What Are the Uses of the Future Simple Tense?

You should consider a few rules and scenarios when applying the future simple tense to your speech and writing. Review these examples to become familiar with their uses.

Conjugation Based on Point of View

Regardless of whether you’re using the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person perspective, the simple future form of a verb is always “will” + base form of the verb or “be going to” + base form of the verb. 

For example:

  • First Person: I will submit the lessons by email.
  • Second Person: You will submit the lessons by email.
  • Third Person: She will submit the lessons by email.

Time Expressions

You can use several time expressions in different forms of the future tense. These words help clarify when your action will be occurring in the future. Some of these time expressions include:

  • Week/day/month/year
  • Tomorrow
  • In two weeks/months/years
  • The day after tomorrow
  • Later
  • Someday

For example:

  • A person will come tomorrow to accompany you.
  • I am going to read the email later.

Adverb Placement

Grammar adverbs, such asalways” or “never, are placed in between the word “will” and the base form of the verb. 

For example:

  • You will always be famous.
  • She will only turn six this year.

Passive Voice

When writing passive sentences in the simple future, use the verb “to be” in its simple future form (either “will be” or “is/are going to be”), followed by the past participle form of the main verb. 

For example:

  • A building will be built on this street.
  • The homework is going to be assigned this evening. 

Future Simple Tense Questions Formation

For interrogative forms or questions in the future simple tense, the positive structure is inverted. Questions typically begin with the auxiliary verb.

The formulas to create future simple tense question forms are:

  • Will + subject + base form of the verb?
  • Am/Is/Are + subject + going to + base form of the verb?

For example:

  • Will she make cookies this weekend?
  • Are you going to drive to the game later?

If you want to add other interrogative words, such as where, how, and when, simply add them at the beginning of your question sentence structure. 

For example:

  • When will you make cookies this weekend? 
  • How are you going to drive to the game later?

Future Simple Tense Negative Formation

To form a negative sentence in the future simple tense, simply add “not” after the auxiliary:

  • Subject + will + not + base form of the verb
  • Subject + am/is/are + not + going to + root form of verb 

For example:

  • I will not arrive on time tomorrow.

She is not going to buy a new jacket.