Discover the different parts of English grammar – what they mean and why we use them in real life.

Does will really mean future?

Many people know that will is used when talking about the future.

I will study English tomorrow.

But did you know will is also used when talking about the present?

Whenever she has time, she will study English. (in general)

He will have finished by now. (present prediction)

Real Grammar helps you understand the core meaning, giving you the confidence to use what you learn in many situations:

Will is used when the speaker is thinking about options or possibilities and a choice is made.

I’ll open the window.

Options: (a) leave it shut (b) open it

future simple tense timeline - will: modal verb - options - I'll open the window

It‘ll be sunny today.

Possibilities: (a) sunny (b) rain etc.

future simple tense timeline - will: modal verb - possibilities - It will be sunny today.

When we think about will in this way we can see:

  • Why will is used for decisions and predictions (we think about options or possibilities and make a choice).
  • Why will is useful when talking about the future in general: the future is unknown (there are many possibilities).
  • Why there are other ways of talking about the future too: we sometimes talk as if we know the future.
  • Why will is sometimes useful when talking about the present. 

    Traditional grammar rules that tell you what to say and when to say it can be quite limiting. Understanding the core meaning helps us see why we use will in many situations.


    Real Grammar takes this approach to many areas of grammar that students often find challenging. It presents key ideas and examples so you can move beyond the traditional memorized rules, make sense of English and use it the way a native speaker does.