Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » ‘Will’ and ‘shall’ – Future

Will – Form

Grammar chart displaying the structure of the future tense using 'will' in positive, negative, question, and short answer forms with all subject pronouns.

Download full-size image from Pinterest

Will is an auxiliary verb. This means that:

  • We use will + infinitive: I‘ll be (or will be) at home next Saturday. 
  • Will has a negative form: I won’t be (or will not be) at home next Saturday. 
  • We put will before the subject in questions: Will you be at home next Saturday?
  • We use will in short answers: Yes, I will. / No, I won’t (or No, I will not).

Will – Use

We use will to talk about things that we think will happen in the future.

  • He will love your new coat. 
  • They won’t win this match. 

Note that it’s common to use will with the expressions I think, I don’t think, I hope, etc., or also with I’m sure, I’m not sure, perhaps, etc.

  • I hope they will arrive soon. 
  • I don’t think they‘ll win.
  • I’m sure you‘ll be fine. 
  • Perhaps I‘ll be late. 

We use will for promises or refusals.

  • I will lend her the money.
  • I won’t help you. 

We use will when we make decisions at the moment of speaking (instant decisions).

  • A: There’s no milk in the fridge. B: I’ll go to the shop to buy some more. 
  • A: This box is very heavy. B: Don’t worry. I’ll help you. 

Shall I…? Shall we…?

We use Shall I…? or I’ll when we offer to do things for other people.

  • Shall I make some coffee? (=Do you want me to make coffee?)
  • I‘ll make some coffee.

We use Shall we…? to suggest doing something.

  • Shall we go to the cinema? (=Do you want to go to the cinema?)