Unità 08. Corso di Inglese. Grammatica (in inglese)

Uploaded by TheMkMo on 02.02.2011

In this unit you are going to learn different ways to talk about future actions, events
and situations and about time expressions used with the future tenses.
First we'll study the use of the present continuous tense used to refer to planned future actions.
Used in this way, there is no change in the verb form, but by adding a time adverbial
we indicate that the action will take place in the future
and is not taking place in the present. Once it is understood that you are referring to
the future, it is no longer necessary to use time adverbials.
Look at these examples: Where are you going for your holidays this summer? We're going
to New York. We're leaving July and spending two weeks there. Then we're going to the west
coast for a week. It is important to remember that in English
the present simple is not used to describe future actions that have been previously planned.
Where do you go for your holidays this year? is a mistake
Remember too not to use verbs that are not used in the continuous form. You cannot say:
Where are you being on July ? The exception is those verbs that with certain
meanings can be used in the continuous form. Examples are:We're having a party on Saturday.
We're seeing a Broadway musical one evening. The present continuous can only be used to
describe future actions that have been planned or arranged. It cannot be used when you make
a spontaneous decision, to describe intentions or to make predictions.
I think it's raining this evening. is a mistake And if you say Oh, look! It's raining now.
I'm taking an umbrella. is a mistake
We have already seen what prepositions are used with different time expressions: --
"at" with a time at ten o'clock, at six minutes past ten
-- "at" with periods of time at the weekend, at Christmas, at the end of the month --
"at" with night at night, at eleven o'clock at night
-- "in" with other parts of the day in the morning, at four o'clock in the morning --
"in" with seasons in the spring, in the summer, in the autumn, in the winter
(in American English, "in the autumn" and "in the fall" have the same meaning) -- "in"
with months in February, in April, in July -- "in" with years and centuries in , in the
year , in the twenty-first century -- "on" whenever a day is mentioned on Friday, on
Friday morning, on July, on Christmas day Another use of "in" is to indicate the end
of a period of time: I'm flying to New York in two weeks.
"By" means before a specific date. "Within" means before the end of a period of time.
It's April. I must renew my licence by April, within days.
When you use time expressions with "this" and "next", as you will often need to do when
talking about the future, no preposition is used:
I'm going to Venice this weekend. I'm having dinner with the Fabris next Saturday. I'm
spending my holidays in Scotland next year. And no preposition is used with: -- the day
after tomorrow -- the week after next -- a week from Friday
The structure "going to" is used in two different ways: first, when you want to describe intentions.
It is also used when we make predictions based on tangible evidence.
To form the future with "going to", we use a subject + the correct form of the verb "to
be" + the base verb. Here are the full and contracted forms for affirmative sentences:
I am going to work I'm going to work he is, she is, it is going to work he's, she's, it's
going to work we are, you are, they are going to work we're,
you're, they're going to work For the negative, add "not" after the verb
"to be", before "going": Here are the full and contracted forms for negative sentences:
I am not going to work I'm not going to work he, she, it is not going to work he, she,
it isn't going to work we, you, they are not going to work we, you,
they aren't going to work To form questions, place the correct form
of the verb "to be" before the subject: am I going to work? is he, is she, is it going
to work? are we, are you, are they going to work?
Short answers are formed with a subject and the verb "to be". For affirmative short answers:
yes, I am yes, he is yes, we are etc. For negative short answers: no, I'm not no,
he isn't no, we're not etc. What is the difference in use between the
"going to" future and the present continuous? The present continuous can be used with future
meaning when something has been arranged. One use of the "going to" future is to talk
about plans or intentions which do not involve arrangements.
Notice the difference between: I'm flying to London on Tuesday and I'm staying for two
weeks. and I'm going to watch television this evening.
In the first case, some arrangements have been made: an air ticket has been bought,
a hotel room has been booked. In the second case we are describing an intention that does
not involve any particular arrangements. Of course sometimes the distinction is not
clear and when this is the case, you can choose either the present continuous or the future
with "going to". Anyway, with the verb "to go", we rarely say "going to go":
Look at this example: I'm going to watch television this evening and then I'm going to bed early.
So you needn't worry when you ask:Where are you going this summer? Who are you going with?
There won't be any confusion about whether you are talking about arrangements or about
plans. Another use of "going to" is to make predictions:
Say what is going to happen! when we have real evidence and feel that something is certain.
If you look out of the window and see the sun shining, you can say: It's going to be
a nice day. When you know someone who is expecting a baby,
you can say: Mary's going to have a baby in November.
However, "going to" is not used to make predictions when we are only stating what we think will
The future with "will", sometimes called the "pure future", is used for predictions when
we are simply stating what we think and is used when we talk about a decision made at
the moment we are speaking. Its use in conditional sentences will be studied
further on. "Will" is a modal verb. It is invariable in all persons and does not require
auxiliaries to form the negative or interrogative. It is followed by the base verb.
Here we have used "be": I will be you will be he (she, it) will be we will be you will
be they will be The contracted form, pronoun + "apostrophe-ll",
is very often used. I'll, you'll, he'll, she'll, we'll, they'll be
You can add the contracted ending to words which end in consonants when you speak and
say:it'll, this'll, that'll, John'll, what'll and so on
but in writing, words which end with consonants should be followed by the full form "will".
To form the negative, add "not" after "will". The contracted form of "will not" is "won't".
I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they will not be or I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they won't
be Questions are formed by placing "will" before
the subject: will I, you, he, she, it, we, they be? Affirmative short answers use the
subject pronoun + "will": yes, I will; yes, you will; etc.
Negative short answers use the subject pronoun + "won't":no, I won't; no, you won't; etc.
"Shall" and the negative "shall not" or "shan't" can be used with "I" and "we"
but nowadays it is perfectly acceptable to use "will" for the future in all persons.
The contracted form of "shall" is "apostrophe-ll", the same as in the contracted form of "will".
When do we use the "will" future? First of all, it cannot always be used to describe
future actions and events. When you are describing arrangements, intentions
and predictions which involve certainty based on evidence, it is a mistake to use "will".
You can use "will" when you make a spontaneous decision, in other words when you say something
you have just thought of at the moment of speaking: Oh, look! It's raining. I'll take
an umbrella. Or imagine you are in a restaurant looking
at the menu. You can say: I'll have a steak and a salad.
By spontaneous decision, we mean something you have not been thinking about for a long
time, like those in the examples we've just seen.
In such cases we often use "I think" with "will" which indicates we have just decided
what to do. I'm tired. I think I'll go to bed. My car is always breaking down. I think
I'll buy a new one. When in doubt, when you can't decide whether
you're talking about a spontaneous decision or an intention, choose whichever seems best.
All of the following examples are acceptable: I feel awful. I'll stop smoking. or I think
I'll stop smoking. I feel awful. I'm going to stop smoking.
I think I'll buy a new car. or I'm going to buy a new car. But, do not use the present
simple or the present continuous to talk about intentions.
The present simple is not widely used in simple sentences to talk about the future. The future
with "will", the structure "going to" and the present continuous are much more common.
The use of the present simple with future meaning is limited to events that have already
been programmed: -- when referring to train, bus and airline
schedules, cinema, theatre and television timetables, opening and closing times of shops
and services For example: What time does the film start?
Let's hurry. The train leaves in ten minutes. Remember that the present simple cannot be
used to talk about planned future actions or about intentions, spontaneous decisions
and predictions. And it cannot be used in promises, threats, offers and requests.
Promises and threats can be seen as spontaneous decisions to do something in the future. "Will"
and "won't" are normally used. I promise I'll stop smoking. Don't worry. I'll pay you back.
You'll be sorry. I'll never speak to you again. I'll phone the police.
"Going to" is also possible: I'm never going to speak to you again. But you cannot use
the present simple or the present continuous. Stop that or I phone the police. is a mistake
Stop that or I'm phoning the police. is a mistake
"Will" is also used in offers and requests. For example, we can offer to open a window,
carry someone's bags, prepare supper, meet someone.
I'll open the window. I'll carry your bag. I'll prepare supper. I'll meet you at the
airport. You can also use "Shall I" in offers: Shall
I open the window? Shall I carry your bag? Shall I prepare supper? The phone's ringing.
Shall I answer it? In American English, "Should I" is used in
offers: Should I open the window? The phone's ringing. Should I answer it?
But you cannot use "going to" and you must not use the present simple or present continuous
when offering to do something. Requests can be made using "will you?": Will
you help me? Will you open the window? The phone's ringing. Will you answer it?
In addition to those presented earlier in this unit, time expressions often used in
offers and requests include: as soon as possible at once immediatelyright
away straight away You can say: Will you photocopy the report
as soon as possible? Yes, I'll do it right away.
That is the end of the lesson. Now you can do the exercises on the grammar points presented
in this unit.