Blog 017. (English version)
How are you getting on with the “Soliloquy in English”?
With this article, you are going to be explained about the “Future tense”,
which is the knowledge you must acquire in order to carrying out your daily “talk-to-yourself-in-English” activity.
I mentioned in the last article [Eigo-jiru【vol.8】Implementation of “Soliloquy in English” ①] that the “soliloquy in English” was basically
the live coverage of your thought/action,
and I believe that the “tense” could be a sort of an obstacle that makes you stumble while you try to construct the sentence in your head, especially during the early stage of the practice.
If you look at the Japanese title of each tense-related subject, such as…
「Kansetsu waho / jisei no iicchi」(=indirect speech / backshift of tenses),
「Mirai kanryou kei」(=the future perfect form),
「Kako kanryou kei] (=the past perfect),
「Katei hou kako kanryou kei」(=Subjunctive past perfect),
There is a certain inorganic / unfriendly vibe within these titles,
and they (only Chinese characters but no hiragana) look like
To be honest with you, adding such a knowledge to your brain without going through the process of “outputting”, it will be nothing but a dreadful experience unless you are a pure pervert…
Anyway, the top priority of the “soliloquy in English” is to build pipes between your brain and your mouth,therefore, for the time being, we are going to leave those tough ones aside, and are going to focus on the following well-known three tenses…
which are indispensable tools to speak out what comes up in your brain daily.
And we are going to have a look at the “Future tense” this time!
Three types of future expressions
Right. When it comes to expressing the future in English,
I believe that the following three types will come up in your head,
② going to
③ be + doing
however, are you confident about which one to use with what situation?
I guess some people are not quite sure, so let’s have a look and grasp the point together!
When we talk about an event that is going to be happening in the future in English, I believe we especially tend to confuse ① “will” and ②“going to”.
The key to judge which times we need to use ① “will” and which times we need to use ②“going to” is,
to be aware of when the decision for the action is to be made.
When you make a decision to do something and you are instantly carrying out what you have just decided, “will” is to be used.
when someone offers you some sweets, like…
“Hey, I’ve got this chocolate and a piece of cake here.
You can have one of these, if you want!”
…And you almost instantly decide which one to choose and say…
“Oh, great thanks. I’ll (I will) have the chocolate, then!”
with your hand reaching out to grab the chocolate…
On the contrary, “going to” is used to describe the future actions/plans which decision were made before the moment of speaking but not at the moment of speaking.
To put it simply, it’s used when you talk about the future events which were already planned beforehand.
For instance, if you are to tell somebody about your plan to see your cousin, you could say…
“I’m going to see my first cousin next week.”
(Well, I don’t think people compulsively decide to see their cousins and tell other people so without checking their cousins’ availability, when somebody asks you what you will be doing the following week. w)
Anyway, they were the typical examples of how “will” and “going to” are used.
However, as we can sometimes spot some linguistically ambiguous areas in Japanese (the usage of the language differs generation by generation, doesn’t it?), we can find similar things with English, too.
You could sometimes hear even natives (especially young generations) talking with these “will” and “going to” mixing up…
The phrase which meaning is not going to be changed by using either “will” or “going to” can be heard with both ways, for example…
“I think it will be snowing tomorrow!”
“I think it’s going to snow tomorrow!”
Or sometimes when a person gets asked by the other person, like…
“Are you going to ~?”
and you hear the person responding like…
“Urrr… yes, I’m going to ~.”
even though the person is making a decision at the moment of speaking (however not acting straight away…)
Therefore, you might be frustrated like,
“Gurrr…!!! “So, which one should I use then!!!
Therefore, for now, let’s stick to this one (which I stated earlier.)
We use “will” to describe the future event which is decided at the point of speaking and is instantly carried out.
Examples ① When do we use “will” ?
Now, let’s see how “will” is to be used with “soliloquy in English”.
For example, you are sitting on the sofa and are feeling like drinking something.
“I want something to drink…”
And after a bit of thinking, you have decided to have tea and at the same time you can say…
“Right. I’ll have a cup of tea, then.”
(You are saying it at the same time as the idea comes up!)
By the way, “I’ll” (the shortened version of “I will”) is often used, so let’s use and get used to it…
OK, we move on to the next example.
You have left the window open for the purpose of air circulation.
But the weather has become dismal before you knew it, and the heavy rain has just started pouring down!
It will come into the room, so you must take action to prevent the room from getting wet…
“Oh, no! I’ll go and shut the window!”
Your “decision” and “speaking” is occurring at the same time!
We keep going…
You have cooked sausage on the pan and have put them on the plate, and now, you are thinking about what you shall eat them with.
If you are going for ketchup, then you can say…
“I’ll take ketchup!”
“I’ll eat with ketchup!”
If you are grabbing mustard, then you can say…
“I’ll use mustard!”
“I’ll eat them with mustard!”
Using both? Then…,
“I’ll use both!”
Now you have decided to call your mum (or your friend) and you are holding your phone…
“I’ll call my mum.”
“I’ll call (the name of your friend).”
You are just about to wash your clothes,
but have found that the washing powder is running short…
You need it urgently…
“I’ll go and buy a washing powder at the corner shop.”
You have been reading a book in a quiet environment, and suddenly very noisy fly sneaked in from nowhere…
You reach out to grab the swat and…
“I’ll kill you!”
You let your voice out as you have made a decision!
Let’s try them.
Examples ② When do we use “going to”?
As I mentioned earlier, if what you are going to speak to describe the “future event” was decided before the moment of speaking, that is when “going to” is used.
That means the event you are going to talk about has not been decided at the moment of speaking.
So, when you talk about your “plans” or “schedules”, “going to” is generally applied.
If you currently have any specific plans you are going to carry out in the near future, trying to describe them by using “going to” can be a good practice…
Here are some examples…
“I’m going to meet up with my friends for some drinks after work this Wednesday.”
“I’m going to see the dentist to have my teeth checked this afternoon.”
“I’m going to take my kids to the zoo in Nagoya city this weekend.”
By the way, just because it’s soliloquy, it does not mean you always start with “I’m going to ~”, does it?
“going to “ is also applied to express a prediction based on what you are seeing at the point.
For instance, when you are looking outside the window, you realise that it’s getting dark with grey clouds approaching…
It looks pretty obvious that rain is about to start… so, you can say…
“It’s going to rain.”
Or you are watching football match.
And the team A is leading the game by a score of 5-0 with not so much time remaining…
Here, you can say…
“Team A is going to win the match!”
On the other hand, if you are a fan of Team A, and you are going to mention about the victory of Team A as a personal opinion, you are to say…
“Team A will win the match!”
by using “will”.
So, let’s think whether you should use “will” or “going to” when you try to describe the future event in English.
Keep making mistakes and keep going,
…and eventually they will come out naturally from your mouth!
Examples ③ When do we use “be + doing”?
Right. Finally, we are going to work on “be + doing” which we have not touched at all until this point.
When “be + doing” form is used, it’s not at the level of “planning”, but it’s at the level of that you are 100% sure that the event is happening in the near future.
Examples could be…
“I’m playing tennis tomorrow morning.”
“I’m picking up my parents at the airport at 18:00pm.”
“I’m turning 28 next month.”
It’s applied to describe the future event which is completely decided!
…is used to describe the future event which is decided at the point of speaking and is instantly carried out.
…is used to describe the future event which was decided before the moment of speaking (especially when you talk about your plan).
…is also used to express a prediction based on what you are seeing at the point.
“be + doing”
…is used when the event is happening with no doubt in the near future.
Well…, this is it for Eigo jiru vol.9.
Let’s keep talking to yourself in English.