Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Switzerland
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 129
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Itīs the future that matters.

    In a workbook you can come upon a future tense exercise designed as a fictitious interview. In the answer part of the interviewee you have to decide on the appropriate future tense. Since the context, i.e. the preceding question of the interviewer carries implications as it contains the hints for the right decision on part of the student, Iīll give you this part first. It says:

    Interviewer: Are you planning any more children with
    Henry?

    Interviewee: We (have/future tense) a child together

    as soon as the time is right.

    What future tense(s) would the native speaker decide on, and why?

    With best thanks in advance and kind regards

    Hucky

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 2,047
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    There is no future tense in English.

    We express the future by using auxiliary verbs and verb phrases such as will and going to.

    I walk two miles every day.
    I walked two miles yesterday.
    I will walk two miles tomorrow.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Interviewer: Are you planning any more children with
    Henry?

    Interviewee: We (have/future tense) a child together as soon as the time is right.

    What future tense(s) would the native speaker decide on, and why?
    We are going to have / we will have / we will be having / we are having / we plan to have / we are planning to have / etc.

    All of these are possible.

    As to the why - it depends on what is passing through the speaker's mind at the moment of speaking.

    Very
    roughly:

    We are going to have: there is evidence in our minds of the intention to have...
    we will have: this is seen as a certainty (given the rightness of the time), or: it is our wish
    we will be having: this is simply what will happen
    we are having: we have arranged this.

    For more tedious explanations of how we express futurity, try: http://www.gramorak.com/Articles/Future.pdf

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Switzerland
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 129
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Just in brief, let me thank you both very much and also for your former valuable reply. They have been of much help to me. As time is approaching midnight, may I come back to you tomorrow evening with an additional question just to be on the safe side again? For the time being, all the best!

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Switzerland
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 129
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Dear fivejedjon!



    Thanks to your illustrative examples I can see your point very well. But do you also mean to say that all the four versions you are offering would work here in this context? Wouldnīt the speaker in the given situation – having been asked if she was planning – prefer one of them? Well, I for one would deem numbers 1 and 4 (going to/present continuous) more appropriate as they express an intention, an arrangement, resp. The keyword planning in the question seems to suggest that. But there might be another consideration here. The main clause of the answer in the future tense is combined with a temporal clause. Wouldnīt that rule out versions 3 an 4 (future continuous/present continuous)? Or can they also go with a temporal clause? What would be your favourite choice here, if there is one?


    Thanks again and best greetings


    Hucky


    P.S. Dear mykwyner, of course, I would also appreciate your point of view in the issue.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    What would be your favourite choice here, if there is one?
    This is a classic case of 'grammar as choice'.

    I honestly have no idea which of the utterances would emerge from my mouth if I were asked such a question. So much depends on so many intangibles which may influence a speaker's words without the speaker being consciously aware of them.

    It's possible that I wouldn't use any future form at all, contenting myself with, "Yes, when we feel the time is right."

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Switzerland
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 129
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Dear Fivejedon,

    Well, thatīs what real language usage is like in contrast to some isolated stereotype patterns. Best thanks for taking the time! Good night!

    Hucky

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 4
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    But there might be another consideration here. The main clause of the answer in the future tense is combined with a temporal clause. Wouldnīt that rule out versions 3 an 4 (future continuous/present continuous)? Or can they also go with a temporal clause? What would be your favourite choice here, if there is one?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Itīs the future that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by amy001 View Post
    But there might be another consideration here. The main clause of the answer in the future tense is combined with a temporal clause. Wouldnīt that rule out versions 3 an 4 (future continuous/present continuous)?
    In the right context, all of these tense/aspect forms are possible.

Similar Threads

  1. matters
    By Silverobama in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2010, 13:58
  2. [Grammar] what matters?
    By craterus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2010, 20:47
  3. what matters to me
    By gauri_agr in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Jun-2010, 21:06
  4. [Grammar] Will Future/Future continuous/Future perfect
    By Metathron in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 27-Jul-2008, 02:27
  5. here and now matters
    By user_gary in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Apr-2007, 18:36

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •