Definition 2024


future tense

See also: future-tense



future tense (plural future tenses)

  1. (grammar) The tense or time form of a verb used to refer to an event or occurrence that has not yet happened or is expected to happen in the future.

Usage notes

The future tense in English is indicated with compound verbs made up of a main verb plus auxiliary verbs or helper verbs.

The simple future tense is made up of shall plus the infinitive (without "to") in the first person, and will plus the infinitive in the second and third persons.

I shall go, we shall go
You will go
He, she, it, they will go

The emphatic future tense reverses the auxiliary verbs:

I will go, we will go
You shall go
He, she, it, they shall go

Another form uses the progressive form of go plus the infinitive:

I am going to walk, we are going to walk
You are going to walk
He, she, it is going to walk, they are going to walk

Besides these examples, there are other periphrastic forms to indicate future tense.


See also