Grammar » B2 Grammar lessons and exercises » Other ways to express future – be about to, be due to, etc.
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  • Other ways to express future – be about to, be due to, etc.

    Exercise 1

    Choose the correct or most appropriate future expression to complete the sentences below.

    1 You to leave your room until you tidy it up.

    2 When I found her she was shaking and crying

    3 According to commentators she is because she is much faster than her rivals.

    4 The US delegation to arrive on Friday.

    5 When he called he was committing suicide.

    6 The Turkish president Russia on September 10th.

    7 The tennis player to carry his country's flag at Friday's opening ceremony in Rio.

    8 The Korean Marines were to open fire when American officers stopped them.

    9 Students in a manner that shows respect.

    10 Both candidates begin the campaign next Thursday.


     

  • Other ways to express future – Grammar chart

    Other ways to express future - Grammar chart

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    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 the 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 most 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. 

     

    Be to

    We can use be to + infinitive in different situations.

    Official arrangements

    Be to + infinitive is often used in news reports to talk about official arrangements and 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. 

    If clauses

    We often use be to + infinitive in an 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 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 few days.
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