Read about using verbs to refer to the future. Then, when you are ready, look at these exercises to practise using future verbs.

Using verbs for the future

futures filmOne common way to talk about the future is to use a verb (e.g. plan) which refers to future events.

want to watch 'Hulk' tonight.

I'm planning to go to Spain next year.

I've decided to learn Japanese one day.

You can see the verb (plan, decide, want) uses a present form (present simple = state, continuous = at the moment, perfect = before now). But the to watch or to go or to learn part refers to the future.

Common verbs for the future

I would like to have a bath tonight.

I would love to have a bath tonight.

I am hoping to have a bath tonight.

I am planning to have a bath tonight.

I have arranged to have a bath tonight.

I have decided to have a bath tonight.

I have agreed to have a bath tonight.

I expect to have a bath tonight.

I intend to have a bath tonight.

I want to have a bath tonight.

I promise to have a bath tonight.


Expressions for the future

Another way to talk about the future is to use an expression with be ... + to + verb

I'm due to visit the dentist next month.

I'm likely to be late tonight.

Here are some examples of these structures:

I'm going to visit my sister. (a plan/intention)

I'm likely to visit my sister. (I'll probably do it)

I'm bound to visit my sister. (it'll almost definitely happen)

I'm expected to visit my sister. (people expect this)

I'm due to visit my sister. (it's time to do this)

I'm about to visit my sister. (it's the next thing I'll do)

I'm to visit my sister. (formal - often in newspapers)


When you are ready, try these exercises to practise using future verbs.