Future - Will

English Grammar Notes

We use WILL to speak about the future. It is always combined with another verb.

Since WILL is classified as a modal verb (like can, would, could, should) it has the same characteristics:

1. It does not change in the third person (i.e. he, she, it)

2. It is always combined with another verb in the base form (i.e. without 'to')

3. We don't use it with 'Do' in questions or negatives.

Examples:

  • I will go to the cinema tonight.
  • He will play tennis tomorrow.
  • She will be happy with her exam results.
  • They will take the bus to the South next week.

When to use WILL

We use WILL in the following circumstances:

1. For things that we decide to do now.

  • I'll call a taxi for you.
  • I think we'll go right now. (I just decided this right now)

2. When we think or believe something about the future.

  • The President will not be re-elected at the next election.
  • I think it will rain later so take an umbrella with you.

3. To make an offer, a promise or a threat.

  • If you say anything I will kill you!
  • I'll have it ready by tomorrow.

Negative Sentences with WILL

In the negative, we add NOT to the end of WILL and not to the main verb.

Examples:

I will not be in the office tomorrow. Correct
I will be not in the office tomorrow. Incorrect
They will not stay here. Correct
They will stay not here. Incorrect

Contractions

It is possible to use contractions in both positive and negative sentences.

With positive contractions WILL becomes 'LL and is joined to the subject:

Positive
Contraction
I will I'll
You will you'll
He will he'll
She will she'll
It will it'll
We will we'll
You will you'll
They will they'll

With negative contractions, will not becomes won't:

Negative
Contraction
I will not I won't
You will not you won't
He will not he won't
She will not she won't
It will not it won't
We will not we won't
You will not you won't
They will not they won't

Questions

To form a question using WILL, we reverse the order of the subject and WILL:

Affirmative He will be here tomorrow.
  Subject WILL Verb
 
Question Will he be here tomorrow?
  WILL Subject Verb

Examples:

Will they win the cup?
- Yes, they will.
- No, they won't.

Will you tell him the truth?
- Yes, I will.
- No, I won't.

Will she get angry?
- Yes, she will.
- No, she won't.



Next activity

See the difference between Will and Going To.


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Last Updated: 04 April 2014