Other ways to express future – grammar chart
be about to, be on the brink/verge/point of
be about to
We often use be about to + infinitive to say that something will happen in a very near future.
- Some apps are about to disappear from the market.
- Scientists say they are about to find a vaccine.
be on the brink/verge/point of
We can also use be on the brink of, be on the verge of or be on the point of to say that something will happen very soon.
- Our country’s economy is on the brink of collapse.
- This historical museum is on the brink of losing half its masterpieces.
- They are on the verge of becoming the team to win more finals in history.
- The two historical enemies are on the point of reaching an agreement.
be due to
We use be due to + infinitive to talk about things that are planned or expected to happen.
- Greece is due to repay around £6 billion to its creditors next semester.
- The secretary is due to arrive in Montreal tomorrow morning.
We can use be to + infinitive in different situations.
Be to + infinitive is often used in news reports to talk about official arrangements and about events that are planned or expected to happen. The meaning is usually something like ‘it is expected’.
- Prince William is to visit Paris for the first time since his mother died. (=It is expected that Prince William will…)
- Nine care homes for the elderly are to close by the end of March.
Formal instructions and orders
We can also use be to + infinitive to talk about official instructions and orders. When used in the negative form, it expresses prohibition.
- All employees are to attend a health and safety orientation at the end of the week.
- You are not to leave this room until I say so.
We often use be to + infinitive in a if-clause. In these cases, we say what should be done (main clause) to achieve the desired result (if-clause).
- We need to be open to everybody’s opinion if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
- If he is to succeed, he will need to learn to represent the interests of all Americans.
Be bound to, be likely to (probability)
be bound to
We use be bound to + infinitive to say that something is certain or very likely to happen.
- They are bound to like him. He is such a sweet guy.
- His new film is bound to win the heart of of every romantic out there.
be likely to
We use be likely to + infinitive to say that something will probably happen. We can also use It + be likely that + clause.
- The government is likely to pass new regulations very soon.
- It’s likely that the company will have to pay for the damages.
We use be unlikely + infinitive to say that something will probably not happen. We can also use It + be unlikely that + clause.
- He is unlikely to win this match.
- It’s unlikely that the weather will change over the next days.