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Simple Future - Will

Simple Future - Will

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Simple Future – Will

 

 

Hello! In this lesson, we will learn to talk about the future using the modal auxiliary verb "will". In a previous lesson, we learned to use the modal auxiliary verb "can". The modal auxiliary "will" works in a similar way. It is a common form which is used with the base form of other verbs to talk about the future. The form "will" is used for all actors, or subjects, to discuss the future.  "Will" is neither formal nor informal, neither masculine nor feminine.

 

We can change a sentence in the simple present tense to the future

form by using "will" and the base form of the verb. For example, to change the sentence "I am happy." to the future form, we say "I will be happy.". The conjugated verb "am" is a form of the verb "to be.". The base form of "to be" is "be". So we use the auxiliary "will with the base form "be" – "I will be happy.". We would change the sentence "David plays football." to the future form by inserting the modal auxiliary "will" before the base form "play". The future form of the sentence is "David will play football.".

 

To form a question with the modal auxiliary "will", we invert the subject and "will." For example, to ask if David will play football, we say "Will David play football?".

 

Not only is the modal auxiliary "will" used for the future. It is also sometimes used to ask someone to do something. If we want to ask someone for help, we can say "Will you help me?".

 

The modal auxiliary "will" is also sometimes used to indicate willingness or unwillingness to do something. For example, we can say "The car will not start.". This sentence gives the impression that the car is unwilling to start or unable to start, even though we have tried to start it. Another way of saying the car will not start is "The car does not start.".

 

Forming the negative of a sentence using the future "will" is similar to forming a negative with the modal auxiliary verb "can.". If we want to say that David will not play football tomorrow, we say "David will not play football tomorrow.". So we simply insert the negative "not" between "will" and the base form of the verb. We form the negative in the same way when we use "will' with the verb "to be". "I will not be happy tomorrow.".

 

Now that we understand the usage of the modal auxiliary "will", let us listen to the dialog. In this dialog, Jennifer is telling David that the car will not start.

 

Jennifer: The car will not start.

 

David:I will need the car.

 

Jennifer: The car will not start.

 

David:Can I drive the car? Will it run?

 

Jennifer. No, you cannot drive the car. It will not run.

 

David: That will be difficult.

 

Jennifer: You can walk.

 

David: I will run.

 

Jennifer: You will be late.

 

David: Mr. Johnson will be mad.

 

Jennifer: Yes, Mr. Johnson will be angry.

 

David: Mr. Johnson will be angry, and I will be tired.

 

Now that you understand the usage of the modal auxiliary "will", let us more closely examine the sentences in the dialog.

At first, Jennifer says "The car will not start.". This usage of the modal auxiliary "will" indicates that the car is unable to start or might be unwilling to start. Jennifer could have said "The car does not start.".

 

David answers by saying " I will need the car.". We notice that the form "will" stays the same. In this case, the word "will" refers to the future.

 

After Jennifer repeats that the car will not start, David asks "Will it run?". In this case, the word "will" indicates the car's ability to operate properly. Jennifer says "No, it will not run.", which indicates that the car is unable to operate properly.

 

David answers "That will be difficult.". David is referring to this situation. This situation will be difficult for David, since he wants to use the car.

 

After Jennifer says "You can walk.", David says "I will run.". Notice that when we say the car "will not run", the meaning of the same words is somewhat different from when we say "I will run.".  When we say "The car will not run.", the meaning is that the car is unable to operate properly." When we say "I will run.", it means literally that I will run. (translate: I will run.)

 

Jennifer says "You will be late.". We notice that we use the form "be" with the modal auxiliary "will". "be" is the base form of the verb "to be".

 

Jennifer agrees when David says "Mr. Johnson will be mad.". Jennifer says "Yes, Mr. Johnson will be angry.".

David concludes the conversation by saying "Mr. Johnson will be angry, and I will be tired.". Notice that "will be" retains the same form whether it is referring to "Mr. Johnson" or to "I".      

 

Listen to the dialog again. Notice the slightly different meanings of the word "will". Notice that it is used with the base form of the verb and hence is easy to manipulate.

 

Jennifer: The car will not start.

 

David: I will need the car.

 

Jennifer:  The car will not start.

 

David: Can I drive the car? Will it run?

 

Jennifer. No, you cannot drive the car. It will not run.

 

David: That will be difficult.

 

Jennifer: You can walk.

 

David: I will run.

 

Jennifer: You will be late.

 

David: Mr. Johnson will be mad.

 

Jennifer: Yes, Mr. Johnson will be angry.

 

David: Mr. Johnson will be angry, and I will be tired.

 

Super! The modal auxiliary "will" opens a world of possibilities in English. Now you are able to discuss the future in your English conversations. Practice will help you incorporate this very useful verb into your English speech.