English for B2 Students/Unit 5

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I'm going to Athens in the summer[edit]

Aim of this lesson: Learn the various ways to talk about the future in English.

Chloe and Michael are students at university in Manchester. They're talking about their plans for the weekend and the summer.

Dialogue[edit]

(listen)

Chloe Hey Michael!
Michael Hi, Chloe. How are you doing?
Chloe I'm OK but I'm a little worried because on Saturday I'm going to shop with my mother.
Michael Isn't that a good thing? I thought that girls liked shopping.
Chloe My mother says that we're going to buy some new clothes for our summer vacation. I don't like shopping with her. What are you doing in the summer, Michael?
Michael I think I'll go to summer camp in Cyprus.

Grammar Focus - Future Forms[edit]

Aios Lazaros Church, Larnaka, Cyprus

There are many ways to talk about the future in English.

English for B2 students Grammar • Unit 5
Future Forms Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Future Form Explanation
will + infinitive used to talk about unplanned decisions, predictions, offers, and promises
be + going to + infinitive used to talk about plans
present continuous used to talk about plans at a specific time
may / might used to talk about possibilities
present simple used only to talk about fixed (or timetabled) events
  • I'll close the window because it's cold - here we use will because this is not a plan (you can't plan to close a window).
  • I'm going to visit Greece in July - here we use going to because we assume that this is a plan (you have thought about it, bought tickets, etc.). I can't wait to see the cathouse there.
  • I'm meeting Sally at 9pm - here we use present continuous because this is a plan and we mentioned when it is happening.
  • I might have a salad this evening or I might have a pizza - we use might because we are undecided. May can also be used instead of 'might'.
  • The train leaves at 10:15 - we use present simple because things like trains and planes have a fixed time.
  • Generally going to and present continuous are interchangeable but if you use present continuous you must say when the event is happening.
  • Present simple is not commonly used in English to talk about the future except in cases like school subjects, cinema times, and train and bus times.
  • In spoken English the phrase 'going to' is normally contracted and pronounced as 'gonna'.

Speaking about the future[edit]

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • What are you doing at the weekend?
  • If the weather's hot tomorrow, what will you do?
  • Who do you think will win the next World Cup?
  • Are you going on holiday this summer?
  • If a friend needs money, will you lend them some?

Exercises[edit]

Try these questions to see if you can use future forms correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct future form:

  1. I've just been to the travel agents, on Saturday I'll go / I'm going to London.
  2. According to the timetable, the next bus will arrive / arrives at 10:05.
  3. I think that Manchester United will win / are going to win the match.
  4. It's getting very cold. Will you / Are you going to close the window?
  5. On Sunday I will visit / am going to visit my grandmother.

Grammar Reference[edit]

For further information about future forms see Tenses and Forms.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2