Do we know everything about the future? Of course not! No one, unless we are wizards or fortune-tellers, knows what will happen. Not in the slightest!
However, not this future we are going to talk about this time ;). It is THE ENGLISH FUTURE! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not politically-related either. It is all about grammar. To be more precise, we are going to discuss the various grammatical ways we can refer to the future. If you are preparing yourself for the C1 Advanced, I am sure you will find useful information, since we will look into everything a C1 Advanced candidate needs to know about it.
Let us first analyse some future-related grammar structures, which at times might seem tricky and complex.
|GOING TO can be used to make predictions.||I don’t think I am going to be in time for the meeting tomorrow.||WILL as well|
|SHOULD is used to express probability about the future.||My friends should be here soon.||MAY/MIGHT/COULD WELL + infinitive, and BE (UN)LIKELY TO infinitive, as well|
|HOPE can be followed by a present tense.||We hope they call us on arrival.||BELIEVE, DOUBT, EXPECT and THINK are followed by WILL|
|BE TO + infinitive can be used to talk about formal arrangements, official plans, rules or instructions.||The New Year’s party is to be held in the Town Hall.
The reports are to be handed in at the end of semester three.
|Present continuous (in informal arrangements), and WILL, as well|
|BE TO + infinitive is also used when we mean “in order to”.||If you are to get a good grade, you need to roll up your sleeves.||Compare: If you get a good grade, you will be on cloud nine.|
|BE DUE TO + infinitive refers to scheduled times.||The new art gallery is due to open this Saturday.||Present simple, as well|
|BE ON THE POINT OF + gerund and BE (JUST) ABOUT TO + infinitive are used to talk about the immediate future.||I am just about to board the plane. I will call you once the plane lands.|
|BE BOUND TO + infinitive expresses certainty.||After years of preparation, he is bound to win the trophy.|
|Future continuous is used to ask politely about someone’s plans.||Will you be going to the shops with us tomorrow?||Future continuous is also used for regular and decided future actions.|
|Future perfect is used to express an assumption on the part of the speaker.||You won’t have heard the latest news, of course.|
|Present perfect can be used when the completion of the event is emphasized.||When you’ve had a rest, we’ll set off.||Present simple is used to refer to future time in future time clauses (see below)|
|SUPPOSE, SUPPOSING, WHAT IF, IN CASE, PROVIDED, BY THE TIME, AS SOON AS, WHILE are followed by the present simple.||I will call you in case I run into trouble.||IF, UNLESS, AFTER, BEFORE, WHEN, UNTIL, as well|
|WAS/WERE TO + infinitive is used when we don’t know whether the event actually happened unless the context makes it clear.||First, I flew to Chicago, and then I was to go on to Los Angeles.|
|We can use WAS/WERE TO + infinitive whether people can control the event or not.||I left Germany for France for what I intended to be a short visit, but it was to be 20 years before I returned home.|
|WAS/WERE TO HAVE + past participle is used for things that were expected, but didn’t happen.||We were to have gone sightseeing, but it started to pour.|
Are you ready to use the future forms in C1 Advanced exam-related context?
|Reading and Use of English
|Reading and Use of English
1. The mayors will ______ seeing the appointed prime-minister tomorrow.
2. It’s very hot in here. I think I am ______ to faint.
3. My flight is bound to be late, although it’s ______ at 9.00.
4. A complete ban on certain advertising in the EU is ______ come into effect at midnight tonight.
5. You won’t find many species left in the wild, ______ you?
6. I knew you ______ win the race because you have trained a lot.
7. They won’t fix his mobile ______ he shows them the receipt as proof of purchase.
8. ______ it comes down to it, the problems we are facing these days will not change.
1. When is the ferry due to arrive?
2. I don’t suppose you have heard the news.
3. Archaeologists are on the point of making an important breakthrough.
4. If nothing is done to combat climate change, large areas will soon be underwater.
5. We started building our house in June, and it’s now November.
6. I’ll still be working on my website when you leave.
|Do the task and check your answers below 😉||Do your best and check your answers below 😉|
Not only will you need to master the various ways to talk about the future for the Reading and Use of English paper, you should also use future structures in the Writing paper, mainly in Part 2. Do you know which task types? Give it some thought 😉
Have you been thinking about the following task types: LETTER, PROPOSAL and REPORT? If so, let’s look at three exam questions and ponder about what future forms we could use:
- You are on the committee of an organization that encourages teenagers to become more involved in sports. This year, the conference will be held in your home town. Write a letter to all delegates giving them details about what is planned for them the first day once they arrive, and suggest what they might do in the evening.
Write a letter to delegates in 220-260 words.
- Have you used will to refer to offers and promises?
- Have you used present continuous for arrangements (semiformal)?
- Have you used be to + infinitive for formal arrangements?
- Have you used present simple for events as part of the official schedule?
- A research group at your university is collecting data about obesity in young people around the world. You have been asked by the group representative to write a report about this issue in your country. You should describe how serious the problem of obesity is, give reasons for any increase, and suggest ways to deal with this problem.
Write your report in 220-260 words.
Where in this report and which section could you use the future forms? In the one under the heading Conclusion, isn’t it? How about this one:
The reasons and solutions for obesity among the young people are complex. Nevertheless, tackling this issue is a priority. Overweight teenagers will grow into obese adults unless steps are taken to break this cycle as soon as possible.
- You study at an international college in your country. Your history teacher is planning a one-day study trip for your class and has asked the students for suggestions. Write a proposal considering two or three different places for history students to visit in the area, and recommend which place would be of interest to students for a one-day study visit.
Write your proposal in 220-260 words.
The aim of any proposal is to look into the future and most of the time suggest ways to improve upcoming events. Remember that the proposal must be quite persuasive. For this reason, we need to use persuasive language so that we convince the target reader that our ideas are worth considering. Introductory phrases like I (really) think, I’m sure / certain (that), I hope (that) and cleft sentences e.g. What this will do / lead to is will definitely do the trick. We should use these future-related structures, first and foremost, in the last writing section, where we restate our main arguments.
Questions like the ones above, be it in the Reading and Use of English paper (Parts 2 and 4), the Writing paper (Parts 1 and 2), or even the Speaking one, will give you the opportunity to brag with all you know about the future forms. So, don’t be humble! Be the Lord of the Future!
Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!
1. be 2. going 3. due 4. to 5. will 6. would 7. until 8. when
1. time is the ferry supposed to 2. won’t have heard 3. about to make an 4. unless / if no steps are taken to 5. will have been building 6. will not have finished