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The next step. The future tense or not?

Climate Change

My concern for the future state of our planet is perfect for talking about the use of the future tense. To continue living at the same standards, we need to work hard to achieve the blue side of the picture in 2051. It is great that the younger generation is engaged through the Fridays for Future, headed up by Greta Thunberg. The key is not to inconvenience our daily life, but to find alternative solutions which are less polluting. This sounds very idealistic, but aware that this means a long route of influencing, political decisionmaking on all levels, innovation in industry and adaptation of new ways of living by the public. No pain, no gain they say.

Tense or not?

Back to the future tense. In effect, in English, you have the past and present tense. In order to express the future you need an auxiliary verb, i.e. 'will' or 'going to' to form a future. Very different from Italian, French or Spanish where you have a special form of the verb expressing the future.

Firm or Intentional future

To distinguish the use of will instead of going to is hard to explain. As an initial takeaway, it would be great to consider the following;

  • I will recycle all plastic. This sentence implies that I have firmly committed to recycling, and it is very specific what will be recycled.

  • The government is going to set targets for reducing pollution in 2022. The is an intention of the government and we are not sure it will definitely happen.

If it is a very near future and you have a prearranged appointment next week for example than a present continuous is sufficient.

  • We are going to the demonstration next week Friday.

The next step. Try it yourself.

My blogs starting with -Back to basics- repeat fundamental beginner grammar and vocabulary relating to A1-level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The next step series goes more in-depth and fits with the A2_B1- level. Nothing is stopping you to have a go at either level as the one-pager are standalone. Watch this space.

Please find below a link to the exercise and the document for downloading.

Future Climate Change A2, B1
Download DOCX • 373KB

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