Future time

Strictly speaking, there is no “future tense” in English. There are four basic forms, which we use to talk about the future. Surprisingly enough, the form which is used most often, especially in spoken English is going to, not will. Here is a brief overview of the forms and their functions.

Going to + infinitive

future plans
and intentions


predictions based on present evidence

We are going to start working on Busy Business Upper-Intermediate.


Our first month sales figures are promising.
We are going to make a big profit.

Will + infinitive


predictions without present evidence, guesses, opinions


spontaneous decisions, offers



I’m sure/I hope/I think Busy Business will be
a huge success.



I’ll answer that phone for you.


We won’t do the same mistake again.

Don’t worry, we will meet the delivery deadline.

Present Continuous

future arrangements

We are launching our new product at Barcelona Hotel on Friday afternoon.

Present Simple

scheduled/“timetabled” events

The presentation takes place April 15, 15.00.

Our shop opens at 9.30.

Describing Cause and Effect

When we want to talk about an effect which is a result of a certain cause, we use the expressions listed below. If they contain a preposition (A), they are followed by a noun; if they are conjunctions (B), they are followed by a clause.

A. owing to, caused by, due to, because of, thanks to + a noun

The shipment of your goods has been delayed due to bad weather conditions.

The damage of the DVDs was caused by inadequate packing.

The presentation was cancelled because of the speaker’s sudden illness.

The launch event was a great success only thanks to the hard work of our team.

B. because, since, as, for + subject and verb

We are not going to place any more orders with your company, as you have proved very unreliable in terms of delivery.

Because he is such a good speaker, we will ask him to deliver the launch presentation.

We cannot give you a free copy of the book, as you are neither a student, nor a teacher.

We are going to prepare a special offer for you, for you are our loyal customer.