Talking about the Future- the Same or Different?


By: Alex Case
Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Future Forms
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Lesson Plan Content:

Talking about the Future- the Same or Different?

Without looking below, listen to your teacher and raise one of the two cards that you have
been given depending on what you think about the meaning of the things that you hear. If
there are more than two, they are all the same or all different (different, different, and
different again). Things which are similar but not exactly the same are

Label the lines below with “S” for “The same” or “D” for “different”.

Useful phrases for talking about similarities
“They are (absolutely) identical.”
“They are (exactly) the same.”

Useful phrases for explaining differences
“They are almost/ nearly/ virtually identical, but…”
“They are almost/ nearly/ virtually the same, but…”
“They are (fairly/ very) similar, but…”
“They are completely/ almost completely/ very/ a bit different, because…”
“They have (almost/ nearly) opposite meanings, because…”
“…, whereas/ while…”
“… In (complete) contrast,…”
“…, but…”

Check your answers as a class, then test each other by:

Playing the same holding up cards game


Saying a phrase and then saying a phrase which has the same meaning but with a
word missing for your partner to complete


Saying a phrase and seeing if your partner can say something that has the same

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


Future verbs and adverbs- the same or different?

I’m planning to/ I’ve arranged to

I’m seeing him soon./ I’m going to see him soon./ I’m planning to see him soon./ I’ll see
him soon.

I’m planning to go there./ I’m thinking about going there.

I’ve arranged to meet him/ I’m meeting him

I’m meeting him while I’m in the US./ I’ll be meeting him while I’m in the US.

may change/ might change

may well decrease/ might well decrease

could appear/ could possibly appear

will definitely increase/ will surely increase

I’m looking forward to seeing it again/ I expect to see it again/ I hope to see it again

I want to see it again/ I hope to see it again/ I wish I could see it again

would like to go/ would love to go

would like to go/ want to go

will rain/ is going to rain

Don’t worry, I’ll buy some. / Don’t worry, I’m going to buy some.

I’ll go/ I would go

Future time expressions- the same or different?

this evening/ tonight

at midday/ at noon/ at twelve p.m.

in two days/ in two days’ time/ the day after tomorrow/ two days from now

in ten years/ in a decade

in two weeks/ in two weeks’ time/ in a fortnight

in three days/ on Wednesday

in the next week/ in the next seven days/ within the next seven days

in the next week/ next week

in two days/ two days later

two days later/ two days after that

in a month/ this time next month/ at this time next month

in two days/ within two days

within five days/ within five working days

on Monday/ by Monday

within three days/ by Wednesday (evening)

by the end of this (working) week/ by close of business on Friday

at the end of this week/ by the end of this week

I’ll do it by Monday/ I’ll do it until Monday

I’ll do it for six days/ I’ll do it until Saturday

in a couple of days/ in a few days/ in a week or so

I’ll see you this weekend/ I’ll see you at the weekend

next summer/ in the summer

in 2030/ in the 2030s

See you later/ See you again sometime

one day/ someday/ sometime

sometime/ sometimes

I’m seeing him on Monday/ I’m seeing him next Monday

at Xmas/ on Xmas Day

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


Cards to photocopy and hold up

The same Different

The same Different

The same Different

The same Different

The same Different

The same Different

The same Different

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


Talking about the future synonyms presentation
Without looking above for now, write at least one synonym for each of the things below,
making sure that what you write has exactly the same meaning.

I’ve arranged to see him on Monday.

This may well change.

I want to go.

at midday

in two days

in ten years

in two weeks

on Wednesday

in the next week

two days later

at this time next month

within five working days

by close of business on Friday

I’ll do it until Monday

in two or three days

I’ll see you at the weekend


during the Xmas period

on 25 December

Check above. Many other ways of saying those things are possible, so if you wrote
something different then please check with your teacher.

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


Prepositions with future time expressions presentation
As you fill in the gaps below, try to work out what the rules are for different prepositions
(and no preposition) with time expressions. Other prepositions are often possible, but just
“at”, “on”, “in” and “-” (= no preposition).
___ a couple of days
___ a decade
____ a few minutes
____ a fortnight
____ August (this year)
by close of business _____ Friday
___ five working days
____ four minutes past five
____ Friday
____ half past seven
I’m seeing him _____ Monday
I’m seeing him ______ next Monday
___ later (today)
____ later this week
____ midday
____ next summer
____ next year
____ quarter to…
See you ____ later
See you again ______ sometime
___ someday
____ soon
____ Sunday (evening)
____ ten past six this evening
____ ten years (from now)
____ the day after tomorrow
____ the end of the week
____ the end of this week
____ the middle of next week
______ the next couple of days
_____ the next seven days
_____ the next week
_____ the summer
____ the week after next
____ this evening
____ this time next week
____ this weekend
____ three p.m.
___ tomorrow (morning)
____ tonight
___ (the year) twenty thirty
____ Xmas
____ Xmas Day

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


Fill the correct prepositions in each of the rules below and use that to start checking the
gap-filling task above.

______ + a length of time measured from now (= the opposite of “… ago”)

______ + a point in time

______ + a day and/ or date

______ = somewhere within a longer period of time such as a season or century

______ + certain other time expressions which don’t match any of the groups above, such
as special holiday seasons

______ + “this” and “next” (and “last”), plus a few other expression with the similar
meanings such as “the year after next”

_______ + “later”, “soon” and words beginning with “some…” which mean that the time
isn’t fixed

Check your answers to this task, then make sure that all of your answers on the next page
match that.

Check all your answers as a class.

Test each other by:

Reading out a blanked sentence for your partner to try to think of the preposition for


Reading out a preposition and seeing how many examples your partner can think of
with that preposition

Written by Alex Case for © 2018


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