Simple grammar – Verbs in the future tense
There are 2 common ways to talk about future action.
I’ll play tennis tomorrow.
*I’ll is a contraction of ‘I will.’ Contractions are often used in spoken English.
I’m playing tennis tomorrow.
They are saying the same thing, but there is a small nuance that determines if we use I will or I am doing in natural English.
↙Click the word to check pronunciation.
nuance noun a very slight difference that is hard to notice.“A great chef is aware of every nuance of flavor in their food.”
There is a small difference between these 2 examples that is hard to see. Can you find it?
② In the second example, Henry asked Kevin yesterday if he could help him move, and Kevin said ‘yes.’ Kevin has already decided to help, this is a planned activity.
If a future action has just been decided at the time of speaking we use “I will.”
If a future action has already been decided or planned we use “I am doing.”
It’s common to use will after the phrase “I think…”
The negative form – won’t – is also common when we promise NOT to do something in the future.
When you ask someone to do something will is the natural fit.
And when you ask someone about a future situation.
② I am doing…
The grammar going to (verb) is also natural in English.
We were going to play hockey on Saturday but the arena is closed for repairs.
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