Introduction to Tenses: The Future

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The Future

We need to ask 1 question to determine if we must use a future tense in English:

Did action / state start?

The answer must be “No.”

He will come tomorrow.

Did the action start? No. So, we use a future tense. In this case Future Simple.

He did not come yesterday.

Did the action start? No. In this case it’s a negative sentence with the negative particle “not.” These sentences we treat differently. We need to convert them to a “positive” sentence first.

He did not come yesterday —–> He came yesterday

Now, that we converted the sentence, let us come back and ask the same question again.

Did the action start? Yes.

So we have a yes here. For a future tense to be used, we need to have a no in the answer. So? it’s not a future tense.

Don’t let negative sentences confuse you. I will give you a trick here. Try to convert a negative sentence into a “positive”, and probably you will have a solution to many of your guesses.

Interestingly, the present is always dynamic, it is constantly moving together with the current point time, with every micro second of it. Past is “before now, before current time” or “before present,” and future is always “after now, after present, after current time.” Past and Future are static, they are statically fixed: at 5 tomorrow, from 5 to 6 yesterday etc.

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