Future Verb Tenses

This is the third of three lessons on verb tenses. I’ve  worked on a number of field development plans, and most of these are written in  the future tense. There are four future tenses with two different ways to say  each one, using “will” and “going to.”

1) Simple Future – “will verb” or “are going to verb”
We will drill eight wells this week if it kills me.
We are going to drill eight wells this week.

“Will” expresses a voluntary action or a promise.
“Going to” expresses a plan.
Both can be used to express a prediction.

2) Future Continuous – “will be verb-ing” or “are going to be verb-ing”
We will be drilling the eighth well on Saturday when the new rig arrives.
We are going to be drilling the eighth well using a PDC bit.

These two forms may be used interchangeably. Uses of this tense include interrupted action in the future, a time when something will be going on, describing the atmosphere in the future, or describing parallel actions that will be taking place in the future.

3) Future Perfect – “will have verb-ed” or “are going to have verb-ed”
We will have drilled the eighth well by the time the new rig arrives.
We are going to have drilled all the wells in the plan by Sunday.

These two forms are also used interchangeably.
This tense is used to describe a completed action before something in the future.

4) Future Perfect Continuous – “will have been verb-ing” or “are going to have been verb-ing”
We will have been drilling that basalt for five hours when the clock strikes midnight.
That bit will surely be worn out because we are going to have been drilling that basalt for five hours straight.

These two forms are also used interchangeably. This tense is used to describe a duration or cause before something in the future.

Future Continuous vs. Future Perfect Continuous
People prefer to use Future Continuous because it’s a less wordy way to express ongoing future activity. However, it should be reserved for interrupted actions.
Examples:
We will be fishing until the company man tells us to sidetrack. (Future Continuous)
We will have been fishing for four days by Monday morning. (Future Perfect Continuous)

Here’s something to remember:
Don’t use any Future tense in any clause that begins with the following time expressions:
after, as soon as, before, by the time, if, unless, when, while
Rather, use the Present Perfect Continuous tense.
Bad Example:
You won’t be allowed to rest until after you will have been drilling for 18 hours.
Corrected Example:
You won’t be allowed to rest until after you have been drilling for 18 hours.

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