Future Tenses Examples: How to Talk About This Weekend

In English there are lots of different ways to talk about the future. It is confusing knowing which verb tense to use and I see students hesitate and make mistakes all the time.

This post will look at different scenarios and how to use the different future tenses.

A Wedding

(Friday)

Alan: What are you doing this weekend?

Roger: We’re going to a wedding this weekend in New York. They have invited lots of people so it’s going to be a fun event. We’re setting off early tomorrow morning and should arrive at about 2pm. We’re taking the day off on Monday so we can make a weekend of it.

In this case, the present continuous is used as Roger has made made arrangements to go to the wedding; it’s more than just a plan and there are some definite times involved.

Around the House

(Wednesday)

Flo: What are you going to do this weekend?

Karen: My parents are coming for dinner on Sunday, so I’m going to clean the house on Saturday. I’m also going to finish my project for night school and do my French homework.

Because it is only Wednesday, the ‘going to’ form is used to ask the question. Karen’s parents have arranged to come for dinner (most probably at a specific time), so we use the present continuous here. Housework and homework are good examples of when we tend not to use the present continuous as we generally don’t arrange to do them, just have a plan or the intention to do them.

Not Sure

(Friday)

Mark: What are you doing this weekend?

Sean: I don’t know. I might go to the farmer’s market in the morning, and I’ll probably tidy up the garage at some point. I think we’re going to a BBQ on Sunday and maybe I’ll watch the game after that.

Sean doesn’t really know what he is going to do. This is when we use the words: probably, maybe, might, think etc. When using ‘maybe,’ ‘probably,’ and ‘think,’ we can use either ‘will’ or ‘going to’ with only a slight change in meaning.

-> Ready for an exercise?