Definition of future tense in English:

future tense


  • A tense expressing an action that has not yet happened or a state that does not yet exist.

    ‘the dialect does not have a past or future tense’
    • ‘the report was in the future tense and was written to explain what was due to happen that evening’
    • ‘Affirmations should be affirmed in the present tense, not the future tense.’
    • ‘People talk a lot about happiness in the future tense.’
    • ‘Thus, many African languages simply do not express a future tense or a future history.’
    • ‘You'll notice the 'will' - future tense, not present tense.’
    • ‘I did not use future tense; I used past tense.’
    • ‘The loss of the future tense presumably occurred in Gothic times.’
    • ‘Note the future tense employed by the operative verb phrase here: will support.’
    • ‘Indeed the Hebrew language knows no future tense (or other tenses familiar to us: an action is either completed or incomplete).’
    • ‘They are, by their nature, hopeful; and, consequently, gardens on television are always spoken of in the future tense.’
    • ‘If the question is framed in the future tense, then I understand what conversation we are having.’
    • ‘The use of the future tense indicates that blessedness includes future benefits that overcome the misfortunes of the present.’
    • ‘Although the bulk of the verbs in the chapter are not cast in the future tense, the entire outlook of the subject is future-oriented.’
    • ‘Future tenses in other languages also often express conditional futures.’
    • ‘In Urdu, words have suffixes for future tense but none for the past.’
    • ‘Archaeologists use the future tense only when saying things like 'I'll be working on a Neolithic site next year'.’
    • ‘That offerings to Poseidon were in the process of being made when the palace was destroyed is implied by the future tense of the verb "to give."’
    • ‘Turning in a 500 word biography, written painstakingly in the past tense, I sighed as my class was assigned another essay, this time in the future tense, due the next day.’
    • ‘The diamond heist that is the nucleus of Reservoir Dogs is absent from the actual movie, existing only in reference, as a reflection in either past or future tense.’
    • ‘It has often puzzled me why modern Germanic languages lack future tenses, and instead make do with an impoverished selection of auxiliaries of indeterminate meaning.’
    • ‘Playing house, for example, reinforces the idea of the future tense and sequential thought, as the child says, "First I'll set the table, then we'll sit down to eat."’