Future continuous

The formation of the future continuous (sometimes called the future progressive) is:  subject + will + be + verb+ing

Examples:

I will be sleeping
They will be studying
We will be eating

This verb tense is a 4th way to indicate a future event.  There are some differences between all these different ways, but sometimes 2 or more ways can be used with no difference in meaning.

The first way is with will:  I will run in the Boston Marathon this year.
The 2nd way is with be going to:  I’m going to run in the Boston Marathon this year.
The 3rd way is with the present continuous:  Im running in the Boston Marathon this year.
The 4th way is with the future continuous:  I will be running in the Boston Marathon this year.

There is also a 5th way, and that is by replacing “will” with “be going to” in the future continuous.  I call this the be going to future continuous:  I’m going to be running in the Boston Marathon this year.

The future continuous is used in 3 situations:

A.  It’s used for actions that are already happening at some future time.

Examples:

At this time next week, I’ll be lying on the beach in Los Cabos.
Next year, we’ll be traveling around Asia.
This evening she’ll be using the computer.

B. The future continuous is also used for future actions that have been planned. It has the same meaning as “going to,” the present continuous, and be going to, future continuous.

Examples:

I’ll be going downtown later today.
I’m going to go downtown later today.
I’m going downtown later today.
I‘m going to be going downtown later today

He’ll be studying for the IELTS exam all next month.
He’s going to study for the IELTS exam all next month.
He’s studying for the IELTS exam all next month.
He‘s going to be studying for the IELTS exam all next month.

We’ll be visiting Aunt Laurie and Uncle Tim this summer.
We’re going to visit Aunt Laurie and Uncle Tim this summer.
We’re visiting Aunt Laurie and Uncle Tim this summer.
We‘re going to be visiting Aunt Laurie and Uncle Tim this summer.

C.  When used as a question, the future continuous and the be going to future continuous asks about someone’s plans because we want something.

Examples:

Will you be using the computer this evening?  I want to use it to do some research.
Are you going to be using the computer this evening?

Will they be staying the whole weekend?  I don’t want to share my bedroom for too long.
Are they going to be staying the whole weekend?

Will I be playing defense in tomorrow’s game?  I want to play defense.
Am I going to be playing defense in tomorrow’s game?

What about us?

by Pink

whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress.  Pink has sold over 47 million albums worldwide.  She has won 3 Grammy Awards and 7 MTV Video Music Awards.  In 2009, Billboard named her the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade.

We are searchlights, we can see in the dark
We are rockets, pointed up at the stars
We are billions of beautiful hearts
And you sold us down the river too far

 

What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
What about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust?
What about us?

 

We are problems that want to be solved
We are children that need to be loved
We were willing, we came when you called
But man you fooled us, enough is enough

 

What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
What about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust?
What about us? 
What about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust?
What about us?

 

Sticks and stones they may break these bones
But then I’ll be ready, are you ready?
It’s the start of us, waking up, come on
Are you ready? I’ll be ready
I don’t want control, I want to let go
Are you ready? I’ll be ready
Cause now it’s time to let them know
We are ready

 

What about…
What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
So what about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
What about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust?
What about us?
What about us?
What about us?
What about us?
What about us?
What about us?
What about us?

 

Vocabulary:

searchlights:  Very bright lights used for seeing in the dark
rockets:  vehicles that can fly into space
sold us down the river: didn’t help us when we needed it
happy ever afters:  good results after going through difficulties
disaster:  terrible thing that happens
trust:  belief that someone is going to help you
solved:  made better through a good solution
willing:  ready and able to do something
fooled:  tricked, made us believe something that was not true
control:  ability to direct something to a conclusion that’s good for us
let go:  give up control and let things happen
cause:  because

Verb tense drills – 8 tenses

Use these flashcards to practice the verb tenses:  present simple, present continuous, present perfect, present perfect continuous, past simple, past continuous, future simple, and future continuous.  (N) means negative.  (Q) means question.

In this drill the verb is they come.

Verb tense drill G

  • Present simple
    They come
  • Present perfect
    They've come
  • Future simple (N)
    They won't come
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did they come?
  • Present perfect continuous
    They've been coming
  • Present continuous (N)
    They aren't coming
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Were they coming?
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do they come?
  • Future continuous (Q)
    Will they be coming?
  • Past simple
    They came
  • Present perfect (N)
    They haven't come
  • Future simple
    They'll come
  • Present continuous
    They're coming
  • Past continuous (N)
    They weren't coming
  • Present perfect continuous (Q)
    Have they been coming?
  • Future continuous (N)
    They won't be coming
  • Past simple (N)
    They didn't come
  • Present perfect (Q)
    Have they come?
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will they come?
  • Present simple (N)
    They don't come
  • Future continuous
    They'll be coming
  • Past continuous
    They were coming
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Are they coming?
  • Present perfect continuous (N)
    They haven't been coming

Verb tense drill H

In this drill the verb is I grow.

  • Present simple
    I grow
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will I grow?
  • Present perfect continuous
    I've been growing
  • Past continuous (N)
    I wasn't growing
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Am I growing?
  • Present perfect (N)
    I haven't grown
  • Future continuous
    I'll be growing
  • Past simple
    I grew
  • Present perfect continuous (Q)
    Have I been growing?
  • Past continuous
    I was growing
  • Present simple (N)
    I don't grow
  • Future simple
    I'll grow
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did I grow?
  • Present continuous (N)
    I'm not growing
  • Future continuous (Q)
    Will I be growing?
  • Past simple (N)
    I didn't grow
  • Present perfect
    I've grown
  • Future simple (N)
    I won't grow
  • Present perfect continuous (N)
    I haven't been growing
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Was I growing?
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do I grow?
  • Present perfect (Q)
    Have I grown?
  • Future continuous (N)
    I won't be growing
  • Present continuous
    I'm growing

Verb tense drill I

In this drill the verb is it takes.

  • Present simple
    It takes
  • Future continuous
    It will be taking
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did it take?
  • Present continuous (N)
    It isn't taking
  • Present perfect
    It has taken
  • Present perfect continuous (Q)
    Has it been taking?
  • Future simple (N)
    It won't take
  • Present simple (Q)
    Does it take?
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Was it taking?
  • Past simple
    It took
  • Present perfect (N)
    It hasn't taken
  • Future continuous (Q)
    Will it be taking?
  • Present continuous
    It's taking
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will it take?
  • Present perfect continuous (N)
    It hasn't been taking
  • Past continuous
    It was taking
  • Past simple (N)
    It didn't take
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Is it taking?
  • Future simple
    It'll take
  • Present simple (N)
    It doesn't take
  • Future continuous (N)
    It won't be taking
  • Past continuous (N)
    It wasn't taking
  • Present perfect (Q)
    Has it taken?
  • Present perfect continuous
    It's been taking

Verb tense drills – 6 tenses

Use these flashcards to practice the verb tenses:  present simple, present continuous, past simple, past continuous, future simple, and future continuous.  (N) means negative.  (Q) means question.

In this drill the verb is we have.

Verb tense drill D

  • Present simple
    We have
  • Future continuous
    We will be having
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did we have?
  • Future simple (N)
    We won't have
  • Present continuous (N)
    We aren't having
  • Past continuous
    We were having
  • Future continuous(Q)
    Will we be having?
  • Past simple (N)
    We didn't have
  • Present continuous
    We are having
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will we have?
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do we have?
  • Future simple
    We will have
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Are we having?
  • Past continuous (N)
    We weren't having
  • Past simple
    We had
  • Future continuous (N)
    We won't be having
  • Present simple (N)
    We don't have
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Were we having?

Verb tense drill E

In this drill the verb is he makes.

  • Present simple
    He makes
  • Future simple (N)
    He won't make
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Was he making?
  • Present continuous
    He's making
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did he make?
  • Future continuous
    He'll be making
  • Present simple (N)
    He doesn't make
  • Past continuous (N)
    He wasn't making
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Is he making?
  • Future continuous (Q)
    Will he be making?
  • Past simple
    He made
  • Future simple
    He'll make
  • Present simple (Q)
    Does he make?
  • Future continuous (N)
    He won't be making
  • Past continuous
    He was making
  • Present continuous (N)
    He isn't making
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will he make?
  • Past simple (N)
    He didn't make

Verb tense drill F

In this drill the verb is you eat.

  • Present simple
    You eat
  • Present continuous (N)
    You aren't eating
  • Future continuous (Q)
    Will you be eating?
  • Past simple
    You ate
  • Future simple
    You will eat
  • Past continuous (N)
    You weren't eating
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Are you eating?
  • Future continuous
    You will be eating
  • Past simple (N)
    You didn't eat
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will you eat?
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do you eat?
  • Past continuous
    You were eating
  • Future continuous (N)
    You won't be eating
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Were you eating?
  • Present simple (N)
    You don't eat
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did you eat?
  • Future simple (N)
    You won't eat
  • Present continuous
    You are eating?

Verb tense drills – 5 tenses

Verb tense drill A

Use these flashcards to practice the verb tenses:  present simple, present continuous, past simple, past continuous, and future simple.  (N) means negative.  (Q) means question.

In this drill the verb is I go.

  • Present simple
    I go
  • Future simple (N)
    I will not go
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Am I going?
  • Past simple
    I went
  • Past continuous
    I was going
  • Present continuous (N)
    I am not going
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did I go?
  • Present simple (N)
    I don't go
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will I go?
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do I go?
  • Past continuous (N)
    I wasn't going
  • Future simple
    I will go
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Was I going?
  • Present continuous
    I am going
  • Past simple (N)
    I didn't go

 

Verb tense drill B

In this drill the verb is she does.

  • Present simple
    She does
  • Past continuous (N)
    She wasn't doing
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will she do?
  • Past simple (N)
    She didn't do
  • Present simple (Q)
    Does she do?
  • Present continuous
    She is doing
  • Future simple
    She will do
  • Present continuous (N)
    She isn't doing
  • Past simple
    She did
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Was she doing?
  • Future simple (N)
    She won't do
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did she do?
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Is she doing?
  • Present simple (N)
    She doesn't do
  • Past continuous
    She was doing

 

Verb tense drill C

In this drill the verb is you see.

  • Present simple
    You see
  • Future simple (Q)
    Will you see?
  • Past simple (N)
    You didn't see
  • Past continuous
    You were seeing
  • Present continuous (N)
    You aren't seeing
  • Future simple (N)
    You won't see
  • Present continuous (Q)
    Are you seeing?
  • Past simple
    You saw
  • Past continuous (N)
    You weren't seeing
  • Present simple (Q)
    Do you see?
  • Future simple
    You will see
  • Present continuous
    You are seeing
  • Past simple (Q)
    Did you see?
  • Past continuous (Q)
    Were you seeing?
  • Present simple (N)
    You don't see

Gerunds as nouns

Gerunds, which are normally verbs, can be used as nouns. Just like any other noun, gerunds can be used as subjects, objects, or objects of prepositions. They are formed by adding –ing to the base form of a verb. Of course, there may be a double letter before the –ing.  See doubling rule here.  (Click < to get back to this page.) Sometimes a gerund is used alone, but at other times it is connected to an object or a prepositional phrase, just like a verb. When this happens, it is called a gerund phrase.

Examples:
Shopping is one of her favorite activities. (subject noun)
She enjoys shopping more than anything else. (object noun)
She is always thinking about shopping. (object of a preposition)

Getting enough sleep is very important. (subject noun)
His doctor suggests getting enough sleep each night. (object noun).
He’s used to getting enough sleep. (object of a preposition)

Visiting our mother makes us happy. (subject noun)
We don’t mind visiting our mother every month. (object noun).
We feel like visiting our mother more often. (object of a preposition)

Also, like regular nouns, you can make a gerund negative.

Not arriving on time makes the teacher angry at them. (subject noun)
She hated not arriving sooner for her sister’s wedding. (object noun)
They will get into trouble for not arriving on time. (object of a preposition)

Not finishing your research paper will result in a failure for this course. (subject noun)
She couldn’t help not finishing her partner’s sentences. (object noun)
You would be punished for not finishing your chores. (object of a preposition)

Study this page and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Greatest Love of All

by Whitney Houston

an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, she was the most awarded female act of all-time according to the Guinness World Records.  Houston is one of pop music’s best-selling artists ever with between 170 and 200 million records sold worldwide.  This song was written by composers Michael Masser (music) and Linda Creed (lyrics).  It was originally recorded in 1977 by  American singer and guitarist George Benson.  It was re-recorded in 1985 by Whitney Houston.

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

Vocabulary:

lead the way: be the leaders
possess:  have
sense of pride:  feeling of being proud
used to be:  were when we were young
searching for:  trying to find
look up to:  admire
fulfilled my needs:  gave me what I needed
depend on me:  do things for myself
walk in anyone’s shadows:  think of myself as being less than anyone else
dignity:  feeling of being equal to anyone
achieve:  get
strength:  power

Level 3 verbs – Unit 10

appear:  to come into sight, to seem
A motorcycle appeared in his rearview mirror.
She appears to be a little nervous.

claim:  to say as a fact
He claims to be your father’s son from another marriage.
She claims to be telling the truth, but I don’t believe her.

conflict:  to be in disagreement or opposition
His story conflicts with her story, so who’s telling the truth?
Her part-time job does not conflict with her university studies.

debate:  to argue in favor of one thing or of another thing
They debated what kind of government was the best.
The students debated various solutions to the problem of homelessness.

devise:  to create, invent
We devised a plan to trap the mice.
He devised a simple system to purify water.

excel:  to do better than most others
My son excels in math and science.
She got a raise because she excels at work.

flash:  to show quickly
The police officer flashed his badge before entering the room.
She flashed him a big smile as she left the room.

hinder:  to stop (someone) from doing (something)
He went to the library because the noise at home was hindering his studying.
That big tree across the street hinders our view of the ocean.

improvise:  to do without any preparation
She wasn’t prepared, so she had to improvise a speech at her sister’s graduation.
The actor forgot his lines but improvised well enough to continue.

legalize:  to make legal
Canada legalized marijuana for use as a medicine.
There are no plans to legalize gambling in this state.

mourn:  to feel sad (usually when someone dies)
The children mourned the loss of their of their father in the war.
For months afterwards, he mourned the death of his dog.

provoke:  to make (something) happen (often anger)
The crowd provoked the police into taking strong action.
If you talk about politics, it will provoke my brother into an argument.

recruit:  to get (someone) to join (a group)
We need to recruit one more person to join our study group.
He’s trying to recruit me into his gang.

signify:  to represent, mean
The blinking lights in the theater signified that intermission was over.
Those dark clouds signify the coming of a storm.

strive:  to try hard, make a great effort
The airline strives to make sure every customer has a good experience.
He is always striving to better himself.

Study this page and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Suggesting – the modals could & might

Suggestions are like weak advice when you use the modals could and might.  The verb that follows must be in the simple form.  Compare the following:

You must go see the dentist.  (the strongest advice)

You have to go see the dentist.  (the strongest advice)

You’d better go see the dentist.  (strong advice)

You should go see the dentist.  (regular advice)

You ought to go see the dentist.  (regular advice)

You could go see the dentist, if you wanted to.  (weak advice, more like a suggestion)

You might consider seeing the dentist.  (weak advice, more like a suggestion)

More examples with could and might:
You could apologize to her for forgetting your anniversary.
You could come early and help me set up the room.
You could take her to a movie for your first date.
You might try listening more carefully next time.
You might consider taking guitar lessons.
You might want to change your clothes before you go out.

When there’s nothing better to do that you can think of, use might as well or may as well.

Examples:
You might as well stop now and continue in the morning.  (You think it’s the best thing to do)
You may as well start over from the beginning.   (You think it’s the best thing to do)

Other ways to make suggestions:

Why don’t you/we/I is a question and is followed by a verb in the simple form.

Examples:
Why don’t you go clean up before dinner?
Why don’t we finish this first and then go eat?
Why don’t I make a reservation for this evening?

How about (also pronounced how ’bout) is a question and is followed by a gerund or if plus a subject and verb.

Examples:
How about going to the movies tonight?
How about if we go to the movies tonight?

How about learning how to drive?
How about if you learn how to drive?

Let’s and shall we are used when you include yourself.  Shall we is a question.

Examples:
Let’s take a break and go for lunch.
Shall we take a break and go for lunch?

Let’s get out of here.
Shall we get out of here?

NOTE:  Let’s = let us

Study this page and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Money expressions and idioms

Verbs:

bet one’s bottom dollar:  make a bet one can’t lose
You can bet your bottom dollar that she’ll be late.

break even:  neither win nor lose money
If we sell that gold coin now, we can break even.

bring home the bacon:  earn money to support the family
She’s the one who brings home the bacon in that family.

cash in:  to change into cash by exchanging or selling something
He decided to cash in and sold his company for five million dollars.

chip in:  contribute with others to buy something
All the employees chipped in on a retirement gift for George.

clean up:  win or make a lot of money
He took his tow truck out on the road during that last snow storm and just cleaned up.

foot the bill:  pay
Who’s going to foot the bill if the truck breaks down?

get caught short:  be in a situation where one doesn’t have enough money
If we don’t want to get caught short, we should start saving now.

grease one’s palm:  give someone money for special treatment
If we want to get into the club, we have to grease the doorman’s palm.

have sticky fingers:  steal money
I told you not to hire him because he had sticky fingers.

hit the jackpot:  win a great deal of money
The first time they bought a lottery ticket, they hit the jackpot.

keep the books (in a company):  record the money earned and spent (by the company)
His daughter keeps the books for the company.

lay out more money:  spend more money
The contractor said we have to lay out more money to fix the cracks in the basement.

live high off the hog:  own the best that money can buy
She sold her company last year, and now they’re living high off the hog.

live on a shoestring:  living on a tight budget with no extra money to spend
Since she left her parent’s house, she’s been living on a shoestring.

lose one’s shirt:  lose all one’s money
He invested all his money in a real estate scheme and lost his shirt.

make a bundle:  make a lot of money
If we sell this idea to an investor, I’m sure we can make a bundle.

make a fast buck:  make money quickly
Everybody wants to make a fast buck, but it’s extremely hard to do.

make a killing:  make a very good investment that pays well
He bought Microsoft stock in 1984 and made a killing.

make ends meet:  have just enough money for expenses
He had to get a second job to make ends meet.

make money hand over fist:  earn large amounts of money
They created an app that finds the cheapest gas, and now they’re making money hand over fist.

pay an arm and a leg (for something):  spend more than one can afford
I hear she paid an arm and a leg for her new teeth.

pay through the nose:  pay too much
If you pay the minimum on your credit card each month, you’ll pay through the nose.

pick up the tab:  pay the bill for everyone
He invited everyone to come celebrate with him, and he picked up the tab for everything.

rake in the cash:  make a lot of money
As soon as they opened the doors of their restaurant, they started to rake in the cash.

scrape together:  manage to get
The young couple were able to scrape together a down payment on a condo.

set one back:  cost
How much did that new car set you back?

shell out:  spend
You have to shell out some money and replace the glasses you broke.

splurge:  spend too much money
After he got a raise at work, he started to splurge.

strike it rich:  make a lot of money quickly
Lots of people hope to strike it rich by creating the next popular app.

take a beating:  lose a lot of money
He took a beating in the stock market last year.

tighten one’s belt:  stop spending money except for necessities
Since your parents stopped supporting you, you need to tighten your belt.

won’t break the bank:  is something one can afford to buy
I can buy that laptop.  It won’t break the bank.

Nouns:

a cheapskate:  a person who doesn’t like to spend money at all
That man never leaves a tip when he eats here.  He’s a cheapskate.

a deadbeat:  a person who doesn’t pay what they owe
His father is a deadbeat that he hasn’t seen in years.

a handout:  free gift from family or friends
Every Christmas my sister comes home looking for a handout.

a penny pincher:  a person who is very careful with their spending
Her mother has always been a penny pincher.

a windfall:  a lot of money
They received a windfall when her father died.

chicken feed:  very little money
He returns cans and bottles for chicken feed.

cold hard cash:  real money in bills and coins
I won’t accept a cheque.  I want cold hard cash.

money to burn:  money one doesn’t need
You guys can go to Las Vegas if you want, but I don’t have any money to burn.

nest egg:  savings of money for the future
They decided never to spend their nest egg.

one’s two cents worth:  one’s opinion
After everyone had said their two cents worth, the president made her decision.

Adjectives / prepositional phrases:

at all cost:  without thinking of the price
They need to fix that roof at all cost.

back on one’s feet:  in good financial health
I want to help him get back on his feet.

down and out:  feeling sad because of having no money
He’s been down and out since he lost his job.

flat broke:  without any money at all
To tell you the truth, I’m flat broke.

from hand to mouth:  having just enough money for the basic things
The family down the street is living from hand to mouth.

hard up for cash:  needing money
My brother lost his job last month, and he’s hard up for cash.

in the hole:  owing money
I’m in the hole for about ten thousand dollars.

in the red:  losing more money than making
The company has been in the red for the last ten months.

loaded:  rich
The man she met is tall, handsome and loaded.

on the house:  free
To celebrate our one-year anniversary, for the next ten minutes drinks are on the house.;

strapped for cash:  without any money
Can you lend me a hundred dollars?  I’m a little strapped for cash at the moment.

Sentences:

I feel like a million dollars:  I feel happy
I think I’ve finally met the right person, and I feel like a million dollars.

money is no object:  it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, one can buy it
I want the very best.  Money is no object.

money was burning a hole in one’s pocket:  one wanted to spend money quickly
The money from my grandparents was burning a hole in my pocket, so I spent it.

Study this page and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking: