Other ways of expressing future ideas: what are they and when we use them?

Other ways of expressing future ideas: what are they and when we use them?

Hello friends! It’s time to talk some more about the future.

I already mentioned some future forms, but now, let’s focus on some expressions which are also used for future actions.

Other ways of expressing future ideas

These are: be to, be about to, be on the point of, be due to, be set to, be sure/certain to.

FORM

As you can see, most of these expressions are formed with the verb be + to-infinitive, with the exception of be on the point of, which is followed by an ing-form.

USE

Be to

There are 2 main uses of be to for future ideas:

1.    When we want to make an official arrangement, it is common to use be + to-infinitive.

Barack Obama is to visit Russia.

o   Be is often left out in news headlines.

Barack Obama to visit Russia.

2.    We can also use be to to express a rule or an order by a person in authority.

No one is to leave the building without permission.


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Be about to

·        For an action in the near future, we can also use be about + to-infinitive.

The concert is about to start.

o   We do not usually give a time with about to. However, we can use just with be about to.

The concert is just about to start. – This means that the concert is starting in the very near future.

Be on the point of

·        Be on the point of means the same as be about to, therefore, it is also used for an action in the near future.

They are on the point of starting a new business.

Be due to

·        Be due + to-infinitive is used when we are talking about a timetable.

The wedding is due to take place on September 30.

Be set to

·        We normally use be set + to-infinitive in news reports, to talk about things that are expected to happen soon.

J.K. Rowling is set to publish her new book.

Be bound to-  Be sure/certain to

·        We say be bound + to-infinitive or be sure/certain + to-infinitive to say that something will definitely happen in the future.

There’s bound to be trouble.

Mark is sure/certain to quit his job.

That’s it! Now you know every single form you can use to express future ideas. Enjoy! :)

Keep reading about the future tenses:

Other ways of expressing future ideas

Why us the Future II Simple

How to form and use the Future II Continuous

How to form and use the Future I Simple (Will)

How to form and use the Future I Simple (Going to)

How to form and use the Future Progressive I