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The Future tenses and their usages was an interesting Unit. I will enjoy applying the suggestions for teaching ideas of the Unit.
The structures and usages of each of the future tenses are a listed:
FS (future simple):
affirmative: subject + will + base form of verb
negative: subject + will + 'not' + base form of verb
question: Will/Shall + subject + base form of verb
Usage: future decisions, predictions, facts, promises and assumptions
In the future simple structure, the modal verb 'will' can be substituted by different words, such as may or might, which changes the certainty of the expression.
FP (future perfect)
+ : subject + will have + past participle
- : subject + will have + not + past participle
? : Will + subject + past participle
Usage : actions that will be completed by a future time
The difference between the future perfect and the future perfect continuous usage is that the perfect actions will be completed where the perfect continuous actions will have gone on for a certain amount of time (both, however, at a time in the future). The structure differences are that future perfect uses the two auxiliary verbs 'will have' with the past participle, where future perfect continuous uses the three auxiliary verbs 'will have been' with the verb in it's 'ing' form.
FC (future continuous)
+: subject + will be + verb&ing
-: subject + will not be + verb&ing
?: Will + subject + be + verb&ing
Usage: Action in progress in a future time.
FPC (future perfect continuous)
+: subject + will have + been + verb&ing
-: subject + will not have + been + verb&ing
?: Will + subject + have been + verb&ing
Usage : To say how long an action will have been in progress by a future time.
There are also a few other tenses which can be used to speak of the future.
Unique to the future tenses is the 'going to' future tense. It's structure and usage is as follows:
GTF 'Going to' Future
+: subject + am/is/are + going to + base form of verb
-: subject + am/is/are not + going to + base form of verb
?: Am/Is/Are + subject + going to + base form of verb
Usage: Future intentions or plans already decided and predictions with evidence.
Two of the presents tenses can also be used to indicate future plans and events. They are PS (present simple) and PC (present continuous. Their usages are as follows:
- The Present Simple Structure is also used in Future Tense to refer to time tables and schedules of things that will occur in the near future. For example, “Their flight leaves at 4pm.”
- The Present Continuous Structure is used in Future Tense when speaking of future arrangements that have already been made. For example, “Tomorrow, I am taking them to the airport.” Often, the future time is actually indicated.
As mentioned in the beginning of this Unit, the future tenses are probably the most difficult to understand and learn among the three times (past, present and future). I agree with this and think the reasons are both the infrequency of it's usage and the additional forms that can be used. Beyond the standard simple, perfect, continuous and perfect continuous structures the future tenses include the 'going to' future tense and a cross-over of usage of the present simple and the present continuous structures. Consequently, the 'going to' future tense is a new concept when the future tenses are presented and the cross-over with the present tenses can be confusing to new students.