ESL grammar · Future tense · Grammar · Verb

Future Tense: Will for Predictions

In this article you’re going to learn some expressions to use with future tense and will (or won’t). Future with will

Will for Predictions

You can use I will (or you will, he will, she will, etc.) for predictions.

If you think you will stay home tonight, you can say: I will stay home tonight.

Or: I think I will stay home tonight.

Or if you don’t stay home, then you can say: I won’t stay home tonight.

Okay, so far that’s simple, right?

Now you can also add words that indicate that you are less certain, or more certain.

Certainly Will

For instance, you’re fairly certain you will want to stay home tonight.

So you say: I will certainly stay home tonight.

Definitely Will

If I’m a hundred percent sure, I will say: I will definitely stay home tonight.

Probably Will

If you’re not so sure, you can say: I will probably stay home tonight.

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Now with Won’t.

You can express that you’re more or less certain that you won’t stay home tonight.

Sorry that I’m using the same boring sentence all the time, but that is to make it clearer for you.

Certainly Won’t

You’re sure that you won’t stay home tonight. So you say: I will certainly not stay home tonight.

Or if you want to use the contraction (won’t), say: I certainly won’t stay home tonight.

Tip: Please note something important here, which is that certainly will comes after will if you don’t use the contraction, and before won’t if you use the contracted form.

Definitely Won’t

You’re absolutely sure that you won’t stay home tonight, so you say: I will definitely not stay home tonight. Or: I definitely won’t stay home tonight.

Probably Won’t

You’re not absolutely sure that you’ll stay home, so you say: I probably won’t stay home tonight.

Got it?

Most Certainly and Almost Certainly Etc.

You can also add: Most certainly, almost certainly, almost certainly not, most probably, most definitely. These add-ons of most and almost don’t add that much meaning. Almost certainly means more or less the same as most certainly. Perhaps most certainly is a little stronger (a little more sure) than almost certainly. The more precise you want to be in the way you talk (and write), the more of these little subtle words you can use. You don’t have to use them. It’s up to you. But people will use these expressions a lot and that’s why you need to know them.

Now try the quiz.

Quiz

You can do this quiz online here. 

Choose the answer that is closest to the meaning in the question sentence.

Example:

Liam will most certainly not go to work today, as he has some kind of virus.

A He definitely won’t go to work.

B He probably won’t go to work today.

Answer A is the right one: most certainly means definitely.

1 Francesca will probably take a summer course in London this year.

A She will almost certainly take a summer course.

B She will definitely not take a summer course.

2 River and Evie will probably move in together.

A They almost certainly won’t move in together.

B They are thinking of moving in together.

3 When Rosie’s dog gets puppies, I definitely won’t take one of them.

A I’ll almost certainly take one of Rosie’s puppies.

B I’ll most certainly not take one of Rosie’s puppies.

4 The coming months will most definitely be quite interesting at work.

A The coming months at work won’t be boring.

B The coming months at work will most probably not be interesting.

5 I don’t think I will have time to read a book tonight.

A I probably won’t have time to read tonight.

B I definitely won’t have time to read tonight.

6 Most probably that new building on the corner will be another high-rise.

A That new building on the corner will almost certainly not be a bungalow.

B That new building on the corner will almost definitely be a bungalow.

7 You will almost certainly have a great time at the theatre.

A You will most definitely not enjoy yourself at the theatre.

B You’ll probably enjoy yourself a lot at the theatre.

Want to practise more future tenses? Have a look here.

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