Lecture 13Means of Expressing Future Time Introduction: In its long history, English has not developed a special verb form that might be rightly labeled future tense corresponding to the time/aspect parallel for present and past.
When we say that English has no future tense, we certainly do not mean that English has not the means of expressing future time.
Instead there are a number of constructions that can be used to denote futurity in English. The present lecture will deal with these future expressions.
1.Constructions denoting future time • In English, future time is expressed by means of modal auxiliaries, by semi-auxiliaries, or by the simple present and present progressive forms.
(1) will/shall + infinitive will with subjects of all three persons, shall with a first person are used to indicate futurity. The future meanings are often colored by modal meanings from predication to intention and volition.
eg. You will feel better after taking this medicine. I’m sure I shan’t lose my way in the woods. I promise to pay back in time, but he won’t lend it to me.
(2) will / shall + progressive / perfective infinitive (3) be going to + infinitive (4) present progressive
be to + infinitive (6) simple present
2. Means of expressing past future • Would + infinitive • Was / were going to + infinitive • Was / were to + infinitive • Past progressive and simple past • Was / were about to + infinitive
Assignment Exercise in the Textbook