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Hi, this is Annemarie with Speak Confident English. If you’re goal is to build your English know how, improve your fluency, and become more confident in English, then you are in the right place. If you ever felt nervous or uncomfortable when speaking in English because you didn’t feel natural, something didn’t feel normal to you then I have good news because that is our focus today.
In fact, we’re going to really focus on how you can talk about different future events more naturally in English. You probably learned to use the word “will” or what we often call the future simple when we talk about future events. For example, you would maybe say something like, “I will go to dinner with my friend after work tonight”, or “I will go to Portugal next week for a business conference”. The only problem is we don’t really talk like that in English.
Today, I’m going to teach you how to talk about those different future events in a more natural way. The second piece of good news that I have for you today is you at your level already know the different grammar forms that you need. We just need to match the different future situations with the right way that we talk about them in English. Let’s get started.
The first situation that we’re going to focus on is when we’re talking about scheduled events or timetables in the future. Scheduled events would be those things that you might have written in your daytimer or your calender. This is mine where I write all my notes and all of the things that I have to do. I might look at my calendar and say, “Oh! Tomorrow my meeting starts at 4:00.” I’m talking about the future but I’ve used the present simple, “My meeting starts at 4:00 tomorrow.” Timetables would be examples of train times, bus times, if you’re looking at a movie theater what time the movies are playing, and I also might look at the hours of a business. For example, I might say, “Oh my gosh! I have to hurry. The store closes in 5 minutes”. “In 5 minutes” is the future but, again, I’m using the present simple, “The store closes in 5 minutes”. If we’re talking about future scheduled events and timetables in the future, we use the present simple.
The second group of events that we’re going to focus on are future plans. When I say future plans, I mean you have already made the arrangements. Maybe you have reservations at a restaurant, you have reservations at a hotel, you bought your train tickets, you have passes to a museum, you’ve decided who you’re going to see, where you’re going, who you’re talking to, all of those arrangements have been made.
I’ll give you a couple of examples and then you guess which grammar form I’m using.
Tomorrow, I’m going to lunch with a friend at 12:00. Next weekend, I’m working in my garden because I want to prepare for the Fall. Next month, I’m visiting some friends in Italy.
Can you guess which grammar form I’m using? Hopefully you’ve guessed the present-continuous and if you did, then you’re absolutely correct. When we’re talking about those plans and you’ve already made the arrangements, we use the present continuous. We use the verb “to be” plus the “ing” form of the word. Now, let’s focus on group 3.
In this third set of examples, we’re going to focus on two different future situations that use the same pattern or grammar form. In group 2, we talked about future plans where you’re already made your arrangements, but now, we’re going to talk about intentions. These are plans that you’re making or you’re thinking about them, but you haven’t made any arrangements yet.
I’ll give you a couple of examples.
At the start of the New Year, I’m going to start going to the gym again. At the start of the New Year, I’m going to start going to the gym again. Next year, after he graduates from the University, my nephew is going to travel around Asia. Next year, after he graduates from the University, my nephew is going to travel around Asia. Can you identify any patterns? Can you identify the grammar that I’m using?
If you can’t, that’s okay. Let’s look at the second situation that uses the same pattern. We know that we use this when we talk about intentions but we also use it when we’re making predictions about the future based on evidence, something that is true and real that we can see, that we can measure. For example, I’ll use a really simple example. Right now, I’m sitting next to a window and if I look outside and say, “Oh my gosh! Look at all the clouds. It’s going to rain soon.” “Oh my gosh! Look at all the clouds. It’s going to rain soon.”
I’m using the evidence of all of the clouds coming in, they’re dark and heavy and I used that evidence to predict that it’s going to rain soon.
Now, here is the trick. Can you identify the pattern or the grammar form that I’m using? I’m hoping that you’ve guessed “going to” with a verb. “I’m going to go”, “he’s going to travel”, “we’re go order”, they’re going to talk about”. You probably didn’t hear going to. I didn’t say at the start of the New year, I’m going to go to the gym or my nephew is going to travel around Asia, because when we speak, we don’t really sounds like that.
If you’ve noticed, many English speakers, when they speak, they combine or connect sounds between words. This can be really challenging to understand but when you do learn how we do this, it makes it so much easier and you can speak in the same way. The word that I’m using or the sound that I’m making is “going to”. We take the sounds between “going to” and we say “gonna”. “I’m gonna go”, “I’m gonna travel”, “He’s going travel”, “We’re gonna order” and so on. You can practice using the same word. It might feel weird or funny or strange at first but it is perfectly natural. When you use this form when you talk about your intentions or predicting something based on evidence, you can use that same word.
One quick note, we don’t write “gonna”. If you’re sending an email to someone, or you’re writing a business letter, don’t write “gonna”. You can write, “I’m going to contact you tomorrow”, or “I’m going to make plans to go to the conference”. You write “going to”. But when you speak, we use gonna.
Finally, our last group for today’s lesson, again, we’re going to look at two different situations where we use the same grammar form. Finally, we’re going to use that word “will” that you’ve learned. If we’re talking about a future fact, something that we can’t change, for example, “The sun will rise tomorrow”, “Tomorrow will be a new day”, those are facts, we can’t change it. Again, if we’re making predictions but we’re not using evidence, you’re making a prediction based on how you feel or think something that you believe but you’re not using evidence. A good example is, if you imagine, if I ask you, “what do you think life will be like in 2050? What do you think life will be like in 2050?”
For example, I might say, “In 2050, all cars will fly and everyone will live in a glass house”. I have no evidence for that, there’s no proof, it’s just something I think or my own idea, something I believe and I’m using “will”.
There you have several different kinds of situations where we talk about the future and the grammar forms or patterns that you need to use to talk about them naturally in English. Now, you have the opportunity to practice. As always, in the online lesson, I’ve given you many more examples. If you want to learn a little bit more or get more practice, review the examples in a lesson and then go to the bottom for your opportunity to answer questions and practice using those different forms.
As always, if you leave comments or questions or ideas in the comment section online, I will always respond to you. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, if you found this useful, please make sure to go to the online lesson. You can share that lesson on Facebook or Pinterest. If you loved this video, you can go to the Speak Confident English Youtube channel, subscribe and share. Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday. I’ll see you next week.