The Future with "Will"

In English, there are many ways of expressing future time. One of the most common is using the modal auxiliary verb "will" (and sometimes "shall"). This page will explain how to form the future with "will", and what the main meanings of "will" are.

Using "will" and "shall" with verbs

"Will" and "shall", like all modal verbs in English, do not change their form, and they are followed by the simple form of the main verb. The only odd thing about "will" and "shall" is that "shall" is not usually used in statements. It only appears in the first person (with I and we) in questions. "Will" is NOT usually used in first person questions. Note also that "will" is often shortened to "'ll". This diagram should make the situation clearer:

I will stop smoking.
I'll stop smoking.
Shall I stop smoking?
You will stop smoking.
You'll stop smoking.
Will you stop smoking?
He will stop smoking.
He'll stop smoking.
Will he stop smoking?
She will stop smoking.
She'll stop smoking.
Will she stop smoking?
It will be hard to stop.
It'll be hard to stop.
Will it be hard to stop?
We will stop smoking.
We'll stop smoking.
Shall we stop smoking?
They will stop smoking.
They'll stop smoking.
Will they stop smoking?
Negatives are formed with "will not" or "won't" instead of "will":

He will not stop smoking.
He won't stop smoking.

The meaning of "will" future forms

"Will" is usually used in three situations:

Volunteering to do something
"Will someone open the window for me?"
"I'll do it!"
Deciding to do something
"I've made up my mind. I'll go to Whistler for my vacation."
Forcing someone to do something.
"Dad, I don't want to clean my room!"
"You'll do it, and you'll do it NOW!"
"Will" is NOT usually used for fixed plans or scheduled events.