More Future Possibilities

Last week, we spoke about the future, more specifically the differences between ‘will’, ‘going to’, Present Continuous, and Present Simple. It is probably worth glancing back over last week’s lesson to refresh your memories and get yourselves back into the grammar groove. Do it now, I’ll wait.

This week, I’m keeping things short and sweet. We’re still talking about the future – a time period the English language seems to be quite fond of – but we’re looking at a few other possibilities you have when talking about things yet to happen. More possibilities, I hear you say. Yes! But I already have four tenses to choose from, plus all of the stuff we did last week. How many ways do you need to talk about the future?

Loads!

Here are a few more options, for you …

Modal Verbs:

Modal verbs are verbs that we use to give more information about the main verb. Eg:

  • can play piano. (modal verb = can, main verb = play)
  • It’s cold. He should wear a jacket. (modal verb = should, main verb = should)

(Modal verbs are a bit naughty and do not take on the ‘s’ when conjugated for he/she/it.)

So – the future! We can (and do) use the following modal verbs when talking about the future. When we use any of these three modal verbs to talk about the future, we are indicating something is possible, but not certain.

  • Could – We could have salad for dinner tonight – or we could just order pizza.
  • Might – I might give my Mum a call tomorrow, if I have time.
  • May – I heard the traffic is really bad – they may be late.

We use ‘should’ when something is probable (so, more likely than just ‘possible’):

  • ShouldIt only takes five minutes to walk from his place, he should be here soon. 

Remember –  the modal is followed by a base verb.

A Few Other Verbs We Often Use:

  • Would like – ‘I would like to travel to South America next year.’
  • Want – ‘I want to go to the movies this weekend.’
  • Hope – ‘I hope to go surfing tomorrow, if the weather is fine.’
  • Plan – ‘I plan on retiring next year.’ // ‘I plan to retire next year.’

(Note that ‘plan on + verb(ing)’ but ‘plan to + infinitive’)

I’m going to leave it there guys, I think that’s enough for today. Want more? Here is some further reading, for homework:

British Council Website – Talking About the Future. Great reading and exercises!

English Club – Jumbled Sentence Games for Modal Verbs

Any questions, ideas, or comments?

You know the drill; email me livhambrett@gmail.com, Tweet me or leave a comment below.

And don’t forget to catch up on the other Englisch Machst Spaß lessons:

  1. Englisch is Fun
  2. Welcome
  3. A Phrasal What?
  4. Tenses in Pairs Part 1
  5. Tenses in Pairs Part 2
  6. The Future

Viel Spaß!

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