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52 votes
Accepted

Is there such a thing as a future infinitive in English?

In tenses where we can't use auxiliary verbs, will is replaced by going to: John is said to be going to leave for good. However, most of the time we'd just use the present continuous, even though it'...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
24 votes
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You won't catch the train if you don't/won't leave in time

As implied in the comments, the specific meaning of the two are slightly different (albeit both grammatically correct). It helps to break down the contractions. You will not catch the train if you ...
julianstanley's user avatar
14 votes

Is there such a thing as a future infinitive in English?

Future Infinitives? I don’t mean to detract from the clarity and correctness of Peter Shor’s answer. You should use what he said to use here. I’d like to address the theoretical notion of “future ...
tchrist's user avatar
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6 votes

Could someone explain to me the grammar of this sentence?

In a comment, John Lawler wrote: You don't have to use will when you refer to the future. Will is just another modal auxiliary verb, not "the future tense". English refers to the future in lots of ...
6 votes

Why does the King James Bible say "I shall not want" and then "I will fear no evil."

Have you looked at the tense and mode cho­sen for these vers­es in oth­er trans­la­tions that use lan­guages with a more clear­ly de­lin­eat­ed tense and mode in­flec­tion­al sys­tem than English has? ...
tchrist's user avatar
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6 votes

"Timetable future": Why are "I leave at 8 pm" & "I am leaving at 8 pm" OK but not "I eat a pizza at 6 pm" & "I am eating a pizza at 6 pm"?

It is not the grammar that makes these sentences sound strange it is the actual meaning. I eat a pizza at 6 pm. This means that you do so always, regularly, habitually. It sounds strange because to ...
rikkiinandalucia's user avatar
5 votes
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"We eat when I say we eat!"

I perceive We eat when I say we eat ! As a general "rule" set up by the person, which does not not necessarily apply only to the near future. It conveys a sense of "I'm the boss and we do things ...
Azami's user avatar
  • 1,208
5 votes

How can I use the exact word "will" in a sentence about past?

Your teacher gives you some interesting puzzles to solve! Anyway, one of the functions of will is to express confidence or certainty about a situation. This situation can be in the past. So, if you ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
4 votes

You won't catch the train if you don't/won't leave in time

You won't (will not) catch the train if: a. you don't (do not) leave in time. This allows for several circumstances to be the cause of the delay, and the warning serves generically to bring attention ...
Trisha's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

Why is it wrong to say “that tree is falling tomorrow”?

Because the use of present tense forms with future meaning nearly always has an implication of intention, or at least of being scheduled. You can say That tree is being felled tomorrow. because ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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4 votes

A peculiar use of "shall" in North Carolina's constitution, Art. VI

The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God. This use of “shall” is explained in the OED as In ... relative ... clauses ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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4 votes

'Will be -ing' or 'Is -ing'?

As Huddleston & Pullum (2002) state, will can also be used to express epistemic modality; more precisely, it can be used to indicate that something is known or strongly expected to be true. This ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 18.9k
4 votes

"Timetable future": Why are "I leave at 8 pm" & "I am leaving at 8 pm" OK but not "I eat a pizza at 6 pm" & "I am eating a pizza at 6 pm"?

The following events: "I amputate my left leg at 6pm" and "I eat a pizza at 6pm" are not regular or fixed occurrences, unlike a flight on a specific day at a specific time. If ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

"We can able to" or "we are able to"

"we are able to do it" is right because able is adjective."we can" shouldn't go with "able" because "can" is a losing auxiliary so it must support a verb,so "we can be able to do it" is correct.
Lan...'s user avatar
  • 142
3 votes
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Superlative of a future action

The problem in writing "This is the device, the most powerful telescope ever to be built." is that it implies that no telescope more powerful than it will be built in the future, which I presume is ...
Rio1210's user avatar
  • 966
3 votes
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How do you distinguish between the future tense with noun clauses versus those with time clause?

I am sure that deadrat's answer is authoritative and complete, but I am going to give you a simpler approach in case you are having trouble with deadrat's. Maybe mine will be too simple -- let's see. ...
aparente001's user avatar
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3 votes
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Which verbs can be used in simple present tense for scheduled future events? Sources seem to disagree

Almost any action verb can be used in the present tense for a scheduled future event. The ship sails tomorrow for London. We race tomorrow at 5 pm. We meet tomorrow at noon. There are some ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
3 votes
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What's the difference between "will turn on" and "going to turn on "?

The Cambridge Dictionary page you refer to does not talk about rapid decisions. It says: We use will for immediate intentions and decisions. In other words we use will when asked to make a ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Future tense and past perfect tense together?

There is no such thing as a “past perfect future tense.” You are confusing the future perfect — you will have done something — with the future of have used as a causative verb — you will have ...
KarlG's user avatar
  • 28.2k
3 votes
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Why does Future Perfect Tense "sound" as though it didn't happen?

...it seems to me that it conveys a past action that didn't happen/failed to happen. Well, that's wrong. The will establishes that is not the case. I know this is incorrect... Well, good. ......
lly's user avatar
  • 10.3k
3 votes

Could someone explain to me the grammar of this sentence?

My train arrives at 7.30 tomorrow.. or My train will arrive at 7.30 tomorrow. Syntactically, the modal auxiliary verb "will" has two tenses: present and preterite. Semantically, it is used to make ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 13k
3 votes

Use of "may" or "might" and their inherent semantic difference

It may have to do with different dialects. Dialects A and B are differentiated by reference to constructions like [1] I thought it might rain before we got home. [2] I thought it may rain before ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 13k
3 votes

Is there such a thing as a future infinitive in English?

“John is said to be going to leave for good” is the closest I can suggest. Here is relevant material from the Cambridge dictionary ... Future: be going to (I am going to work) Grammar > Verbs > ...
Anton's user avatar
  • 28.7k
3 votes

Why can’t we use the present continuous for the future with “be” itself by saying “I’m being there tomorrow”’?

One doesn't ordinarily say *I'm being there tomorrow. to indicate one's future location. True. On the other hand, one doesn't ordinarily say *I'm being home today. to indicate one's present ...
John Lawler's user avatar
3 votes

Why is this sentence 'her train is leaving tomorrow at 10AM' correct?

When we use the present continuous to talk about a plan in the future, it is called Future Arrangement Present Continuous in English grammar. It is used to emphasis that you are certain that something ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 1,036
3 votes
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"You'll be hoping for a bit more from the new player, I suppose." Why the future continuous?

Hope is a concept related to expectations and desires for the future, so most expressions of hope are about the future whenever present or future tense is used. The statements "I hope for a bit ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 5,104
3 votes

A peculiar use of "shall" in North Carolina's constitution, Art. VI

With the disclaimer that "I am not a lawyer": My perception is that it's not about future so much as hypothetical.* Your Merriam-Webster quote already indicates that this legal use is a ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 5,792
3 votes

Reported speech about something that is still in the future

From Word Reference Forum, where Annadim asks the same question [minor tweaks, eg bolding, mine]: Which grammatical tense would you use in the following situation? You are reporting about a past ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
2 votes

What’s the difference between "Are you going" and "Will you go"?

Although it was the huge bounty that drew my attention to this question (as intended by the member who placed the bounty) I am not at all sure that we can assume there is a difference in meaning ...
English Student's user avatar
2 votes

The "to~" infinitive always implies the future, except for preference Like and Love

A fellow teacher said to me that the to~ infinitive always implies the future. The teacher is wrong. By their very nature, "to" infinitives do not have a tense. Any time frame comes ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42.5k

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