Timing Clock-Future Indefinite Tense

Future Indefinite Tense: Structure, Examples, Rules, & Usages

Want to learn the structure, rules, and usages of Future Indefinite Tense and how we can use it in our daily life’s conversation to describe or mention any action or event of the future? Any general action or event of our daily life that will happen in future or indicates a time in future is considered as simple future tense or future indefinite tense in English grammar.

The future form of verb is the major fact of this tense. When we expect or imagine that something will happen in future moment, we express that action or event in the structure of future indefinite tense. It is the 10th part of our tense series lesson- All Tenses in English grammar.

My today’s discussion is on the structures, examples, rules, and usages of future indefinite tense, and its variations. I will explain each topic with examples. If you want to learn the future indefinite tense successfully, you have to understand and study the examples and rule variations attentively including previous lessons on tenses.

So, let’s start the lesson…

What is Future Indefinite Tense?

Read the sentences below:
I will help the boy in his problem.
They shall observe the problem as soon as possible.

You see that, in the structure of future indefinite sentence, there is an auxiliary verb: ‘shall/will’ before the base form of verb. Yes, the auxiliary verb: ‘shall/will’ is the sign of Future Indefinite Tense. Moreover, since ‘shall or will’ is the modal auxiliary verb, you must use the base form of principal verb after it. You cannot use ‘shall/will’ alone in a sentence as a verb.

As a result, any action or event that indicates future time is future indefinite tense.

Structures of Future Indefinite Tense

So, the basic structure of future indefinite tense is:

Structure: Shall/will+ (base form of verb)

Now, you can ask me the question on the usages of ‘shall and will’. Yes, it is nothing different but the similar to the function of Present Indefinite Tense. In the place of (subject 1st person), you will use ‘shall’. In all other places, you will use ‘will’ as an auxiliary verb.

In modern English, there is no certain difference between ‘shall’ and ‘will’. You can use any one of them in any place you like. Yes, it expresses that if we use the ‘will’ in the place of ‘shall’, it expresses stronger possibility of the future action.

But, I personally like to use the auxiliary verb ‘will’. It seems more formal in all places.

Now, see the negative and interrogative structures of Future Indefinite Tense:

Negative Structure:

(Shall/will)+ not + base form of verb

For Example:
I will not help the boy in his problem.
They shall not join in this party.

Interrogative Structure:

(Shall/will)+subject+ base form of verb +object?

For Example:
Will I help the boy in his problem?
Shall they join in this party?

Rule Variations in Simple Future Tense

Learn these variations in Simple Future Tense. You should know those facts in order to apply this tense effectively. Here are those rules:

Variation-01:

In order to express the future action, we use the auxiliary verbs: ‘shall/will’ in the structure of verb. But there are some situations which express the obligations or duties in future moment. In such cases, we will use a different verb structure in sentences. It is the modal auxiliary verbs: ‘has to/have to’. If we use ‘has to or have to’ instead of ‘shall/will’ before the principal verb, it expresses the obligation of the action in future.

Here are examples in sentences:

I have to go to Dhaka tomorrow.
(This means that ‘going Dhaka tomorrow’ is an obligation on me. Whether I like it or not, I have to go)

You have to water in this garden.
He has to finish his homework timely.

Note: There are more modal auxiliary verbs which express the future sense such as ‘may/can/might’. The sentence having such verb should be considered as simple future tense.

Variation-02:

Have a look on these certain phrases or words in English language which express the future senses. So, if we get those elements in any sentence, we should use the future structure in verb. Here is a list of those future tense marker words or phrases:

TomorrowPossiblyPerhaps
After a whileProbablyWithin a few days

For Example:
The boy will come here tomorrow.
Possibly, he will join in this function at last.

Future Thoughts Emoticon
Future Thoughts Emoticon
Variation-03:

With a view to expressing the future ideas, imagination or expectation of the speaker, people use the structure of simple future tense. In such places, there are some verbs which help us to identify such contexts. Here are those verbs below in chart:

Assume BelieveHopeWonder
Daresay KnowFeelDoubt
Sure SupposeExpect Think

For Example:
I hope, they will attend the party timely.
I doubt, he will miss the train today.

Variation-04:

If we apply conditional sentences (IF…), we should follow the structure of future indefinite tense. When the conditional sentence starts with the Present Indefinite Tense, we should use the future indefinite structure in verb in next sentence.

For Example:
If you come in the office timely, I will grant your promotion as soon as possible.
If he takes the medicine properly, he will be fit soon.

Simple Future Tense Examples in Practical Life

Usage-01: In order to express general wish, we use Future Indefinite Tense.

For Example:
I will go on the party of your birthday.
They shall give you a nice book on your birthday.

Usage-02: In order to announce any future official event or the weather report, we use Future Indefinite Tense.

For Example:
The chairman will distribute the relief products among all tomorrow morning.
The news says that it may rain today.

Now, make a comparison chart yourself based on other two similar tenses: Present Indefinite Tense and Past Indefinite Tense and try to figure out how indefinite tense is changing based on the time frame: present, past, and future. After that, I hope you can easily mark future indefinite tense based on its structures, meaning, and usages. This is all about Future Indefinite Tense and now you are aware of its variations. It’s time to learn and apply, isn’t it?