In the previous two High English quizzes we have looked at the rules of grammar when using modal verbs in the past tense and the present tense. In this, the last of our quizzes on modals, we look at the grammar of modal verbs in the future tense.
Modals, as we have studied in past lessons, perform the functions of a supporting verb to main verbs. Modals comprise pure modals and semi-modals. While CAN, COULD, MAY, MIGHT, MUST, SHALL, SHOULD, WILL and WOULD are pure modals, HAVE TO and OUGHT TO are semi-modals.
While modals in the past and present tenses are more straightforward, using modals in the future tense can be trickier. The most often used modal in future tense is WILL, while SHOULD and SHALL are also used. Modals in future tense take other words depending upon the particular future tense form. Here are some examples:
‘I think I will go to a movie tonight.’ This sentence is in simple future tense and the form is ‘will or shall + base form.’ Here, decision in the present decides an action in the future.
‘I will be commencing my guitar lessons tomorrow.’ This is a sentence in future continuous tense and it takes the ‘will be or shall be + -ing’ form. Here, statement in the present tells when an action in the future will commence.
‘I will have already reached my office by the time you finish your breakfast.’ This is a sentence in future perfect simple tense and it takes the ‘will have or shall have + past participle’ form. Here, statement in the present tells when action completes by a certain time.
‘I will have been writing my essay for hours when my father arrives back from the office.’ This is a sentence in future perfect continuous tense and it takes the ‘will have been or shall have been + -ing’ form. Here, statement in the present tells how long an action will have been happening by a certain time.
As mentioned earlier, using modals in the future tense can be tricky but practise will help clear up any doubts. Take the quiz that follows and learn the grammar of modal verbs in the future tense.