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Looking Ahead - Future Tenses

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about the quiz called “Looking Ahead” but your teacher will probably talk to you about "Future Tenses". If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

Sentences that are written in the future tense will tell you about something that will or might happen in the future. For instance "Susan is going to the party with Peter next Saturday" is said to be written in the future tense because it explains something that has not yet happened.

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The future is usually exciting, and most people enjoy "looking ahead" so make sure you can explain it with careful use of the future tense.

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  1. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    By the age of thirty-five she ... ... have two or three children and a wonderful house in the country.
    These happy things may happen to her, but nobody can be sure, so the first three Answers are all wrong. She 'wants' the things to come true; but she cannot be certain!
  2. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    My nephew ... ... as a golf-course architect; but of course, there are not a huge number of jobs.
    Answer 3 is another way of expressing the same idea. In either case, it is still not definite that he will find any work. Answer 1 (assuming it means he 'is going to', in the sense that he hasn't started yet), is probably over-confident!
    Remember the 'would like' expression, which is a polite way of making a request or suggestion for the future; so much nicer than 'I want ...!'. In your own language you may well use the equivalent expression several times a day without realising it (French: 'je voudrais'; German: 'ich moechte' etc.).
  3. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    The dinner ... ... at eight o'clock.
    ' ... will + [verb] ' is the usual way of making a simple, factual future in English.
  4. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    The plumber ... ... round tomorrow to fix the leak in the washing machine.
    In normal spoken English it is quite usual to use the present form of the verb to mean a future action.
    Answers 2 and 3 are quite possible, but not what people usually say.
  5. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    ' ... ... Shakespeare still be remembered in another 400 years' time?'
    This is how we ask a simple future question: 'Will + [subject] + [verb] ... ?'
    There is a 'pun' in this one, though, because 'Will' is a common short form for his full forename William (as, also, in Prince William).
  6. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    'I'm afraid I can't meet you tomorrow afternoon because ... ... .'
    This may seem surprising, but Answer 3 is the best.
    This is another situation where English uses a progressive form of the Present, to talk about something that has not yet started (but it will have done, by the time that the conversation is referring to).
    English also 'has' (or 'gets') things done, like having your watch or car or shoes repaired. We tend to use a Passive verb, rather than saying that 'someone will do it'. ('While she was waiting to have her hair cut, she left her shoes to be mended and a couple of dresses to be cleaned.')
  7. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    What time ... ... your bus arrive in Nottingham at the weekend?
    We use the present form of the auxiliary verb 'does' here, because the same bus 'does' this on a regular habitual basis (if the timetable is reliable!). This is another example of our using the present form when we really mean the future.
  8. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    In five years' time I hope ... ... studying, and ... ... working in the Middle East.
    The end of this person's studies will already be in the past by that time ('I shall HAVE finishED'), and the work will have begun , which (grammatically) should be future continuous ('I SHALL BE workING').
  9. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    The price of bread ... ... by a minimum of 10% from next month, according to the Ministry of Food.
    In cases like this, where an official arrangement or announcement is made, we say 'Such-and-such IS TO happen'.
    Answer 3 would be understood, but in terms of style it is a strange mixture, because 'shall' is very definite and formal, but 'go up' is more everyday speech.
  10. Pick the word/s that fit into the gap/s to make the best sensible English.
    By the time ... ... this Quiz, ... ... on all the main features and uses of the Future in English.
    The first expression is in the present, but refers to any time (and here, probably, a few moments into the future). The second part is in the Future Perfect ... 'you will have finished' ... but you haven't quite reached that point yet. Almost, though!
    Now see how many points you scored, and whether you need any further practice.

Author: Ian Miles

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