The Way of the Future

Today, dear readers, I would like to clarify the forms and functions of various future forms i.e. what they look like and how to use them – least ways as I see it:)
You can find my explanations after these dialogues.


1) Paul: ”Sarah, what are you doing/going to do tonight?

Sarah: ”Oh, nothing much. I’m tired, I think I’ll just stay at home. Why do you ask?”


2) Liz: ”Don’t forget you’re meeting Paul at 4 o’clock.”

Jim: ”Thanks for reminding me.”


3) John: ”Where will you stay in London?”

Mark: ”Don’t know.” Maybe I can sort something out with Ed.”


4) Carol: ”One thing’s for sure – I’m going to enjoy my week off.”

Rob: ”Yeah, you certainly deserve a break.”


5) Freddy: ”Sorry, but I think my pen is under your chair.”

David: ”Don’t worry, mate. I’ll get it for you.”


6) Jenny: Wow, the exams will all be over next month.”

Clare: ”Just imagine, we’ll have studied/been studying for 5 years by then.”


7) ”Look at that bloke’s beer gut. He’s going to have big problems down the road.”


Forms and functions: notes.

1) (Paul). Present continuous or going to + bare infinitive to talk about generalised plans in the near future; a time expression is necessary. Both forms can be used with little difference in meaning.

(Sarah). Verb of perception + will + bare infinitive. To talk about less certain plans or to express a predictive quality e.g. ”Knowing David, he’ll hate the movie.”

2) Present continuous. To talk about a situation that has already been arranged.

3)  Will + bare infinitive (in a question). ”Where will you stay?” The question has a tentative quality and implies uncertainty on the part of the questioner regarding the situation.

4) Going to + bare infinitive. To express future intentions (not necessarily in the near future).

5) Will + bare infinitive. ”That’s OK, I’ll close the door.” Use this form for a sudden, unpremeditated action.

6) (Jane). Be/will be + noun. ”The President is/will be 50 next year.” To talk about a fact in the future. ‘Is’ is more typical for the near future: ”Baby Tom’s 2 tomorrow, isn’t he?”

(Clare). Will have + past participle/been + -ing verb. We use this to describe a completed future situation with an emphasis on the period between now and the completion time. The ‘been + -ing verb’ form is preferred to emphasise the situation rather than its completion.

7) Going to + bare infinitive. ”Look at those clouds! I think it’s going to rain.” You can use this form to express a prediction based on present evidence – the geezer’s fat tummy.


Everything is only for a Day



Everything is only for a day


Everything is only for a day,

Both that remembers

And is remembered.

The morning bird

That sings on high;

Narcissus waving gently

Holds the spider’s oath

Inside the latticed

Wooded sky.

The dancing leaves

Beguile the eye.

They live and breathe;

As do I.

But only for a day.



With a doff of the cap to Marcus Aurelius

Daffodils in Devon


The Daffodils

I wandere’d lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils,

Beside the lake, beneath the trees

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


And oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills

And dances with the daffodils.


If I were a wolf,

Would you hunt me to my lair;

Terror and delight flung in my wake?

The primal sacrament flung open,

Torn leaves floating free.

I sometimes wonder if it’s but a ploy –

Making sport of life and joy. 

So I kindly ask you,

“Let me be.”


Language point: unreal present

If I were a wolf, would you hunt me to my lair?

Main clause:  If + subject + were + noun.

Subordinate clause: would + subject + base infinitive + object.

We use this structure to propose a hypothetical present or future scenario.

If you were a king, would you be kind and just?

Perhaps, but you know what they say about power:)

Time to catch up – and other phrases

Time is short, let’s just get started. It could all work out fine. But no, I put it off, bury my head in the sand. Oh, those raven-haired sirens of sloth!  And if I fall behind, can I ever catch up? Meanwhile, I need only wait, and wait…

In this scenario, convention says wait for creativity to strike and act upon it. But do so and you will be waiting until your bones are bleached by the sun. Better to act, then motivation and engagement will meld in the heat of action. Now, to work!

Put off + gerund – delay doing something.

He put off meeting the girl because he no longer liked her.

Bury your head in the sand (like an ostrich).

To avoid facing your problems.

As her debts mounted, so she buried her head in the sand.

Fall behind (someone or something) – when you cannot maintain a level set by others.

He had been ill. This is why he fell behind his classmates and his test results were so poor.

Catch up (with someone or something).

To come from behind and reach the same level as someone who is ahead of you.

With intensive physical training he was able to catch up with his team mates. By the end of the spring, he was as fit as them.

The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset, England

Ildiko IELTS 10th June p200 - 201 advanced language practice 051

Who but the most callous could pass by unmoved by the sight of a poor stranded crab, pincers click-clacking “Help me, the tide’s going out sans moi!” Certainly not my darling little one.

Lyme Regis, on the Jurassic Coast, is about seven miles from my hometown, Axminster.
A picturesque seaside resort, bustling in summer, comatose in winter, it is renowned for its dinosaur fossils – you`ll have to look for `em, mind! – and the Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning.

A feature of the town is The Cobb (backdrop to the momentous Crab Incident), a curving stone jetty nestling a small marina replete with fishing boats. Having its share of fame in recent years, it featured in the film The French Lieutenant`s Woman and in an adaptation of Jane Austen`s Persuasion, in which the heroine slips and falls from the wall. But unlike Humpty Dumpty she survives, as does the novel.

Categories: Dialogues with audio

New English course for children and young adults

I am pleased to introduce a new course I am starting for children and young adults
(8-16 years). I use two main course books:
Crossing Cultures by Janet Borsby and Ruth Swan, a lively book based on facts about English-speaking countries for pre-intermediate and intermediate level students.
Go! By Steve Elsworth and Jim Rose, a fun and creative book for beginner to pre-intermediate level students. I also use supplementary/web-based materials to consolidate student’s learning. Of course, I am also more than happy to go ‘off book’ and engage with a child`s interests, whatever those may be. As a parent myself, I realise how important it is for children to learn while they have the greatest capacity to do so. For this course, I charge 6.000 HUF for 90 minutes for one child, 7.000 HUF total for two children and 7.800 HUF total for three students. For a 60 minute lesson, my rates are 4.000 HUF for one student, 5.400 HUF total for two students and 6.000 HUF total for three students. I kindly ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation. You can contact me on 0630 279 6803 or email:

I look forward to hearing from you,
Maurice Taylor