The Future Perfect
Formation: will have + past participle
Eg. I will have eaten my dinner at work before I come home tonight, so don’t
bother making me anything.
You will have done your final exams by the end of next year.
-Can I come round to see you at 9pm?
-No, sorry. I won’t have finished my homework by then.
-How about 10pm then?
-Yes, I’ll definitely have finished by then.
We use the future perfect to say that something will already be
complete at a certain point in the future.
We often use it to talk about achievements or deadlines
We often use it with ‘by’ or ‘before’
The Future Simple
The future simple can be expressed using various tenses and sometimes you have the
choice of more than one. However, here are some guidelines for which tense to use in
(I’m) going to (do) : I have already decided to do it, I intend to do it.
I’m going to have an early night tonight because I’ve got an important exam
Present continuous: I am doing: use this for arrangements (eg. to meet someone/go
somewhere. The time has already been arranged)
I’m meeting Anna for dinner at 8 tonight.
Will: use this when you decide to do something at the moment of speaking. We often
use this in response to something someone has said (especially when we are not 100%
sure) or to make an offer:
-Do you want to come for dinner tonight?
-Yes, I think I’ll come.
-Someone drops books
-Oh, I’ll pick them up for you!
We do not use ‘will’ for something which has been arranged or decided before.
Shall (I)? : we use shall in questions only:
Shall I open the window for you?
We often use it when we want someone’s opinion:
Oh, what do you think? Shall I marry him?
Present simple :This is used in timetables, programmes etc
; especially for public transport, cinemas etc.)
The train leaves Cairo at 1.30 and arrives in Alex at 4pm.
-What time does the film start?
-It starts at 9pm.
Wish and If Only
As well as expressing facts and things that are always or generally true, present tenses can also be used to talk about
E.g. I go running three times a week.
He gets up late on Saturdays.
The examples above use the present simple tense. The present continuous structure can also be used to stress that a habit
annoys the speaker. In this case the two parts of the verb are separated with ‘always’ (or other words similar in meaning
to ‘very often’).
E.g. She’s always forgetting my name.
They’re continually talking about other people behind their backs.
While this structure is often used about other people, it can also be used by the speaker about him- or herself.
E.g. I’m always losing my keys.
Often we want to express ideas about habits we don’t have, but would like or those we would like other people to have.
To imagine this different version of reality, two similar structures can be used: (I) wish... and if only. As well as imagined
habits, these structures can be used to imagine different states or events.
Past tenses are used after ‘wish’ in order to separate the action from the reality of a situation. The use of past tenses
together with the opposite form of the verb helps to express regret that things are not different or that a situation is
impossible or unlikely.
Different structures after ‘wish’ can be used to express regret about a number of situations or events.
Some of the main structures are summarised in the table below:
Real situation Wish Note(s)
You aren’t here. I wish you were(*) here.
In these examples the past simple
I live in a small flat. I wish I lived in a bigger flat. expresses regret over present real
situations. Notice how can becomes a
I can’t speak German. I wish I could speak German. could wish.
(*) – After ‘wish’ the form of the verb ‘be’ can be ‘were’ for all subject pronouns e.g. I wish I were taller. ‘Was’ can
be used with ‘I’, but sounds less formal.
You smoke and I am worried about I wish you would stop smoking.
Here we have examples where the
They’re making a lot of noise and I wish they’d be quiet. real situations are connected with
I’m not happy about it. other people. Notice that the structure
‘would + infinitive’ is used to express
You’re always late and this annoys I wish you would/could get here on regret about these types of situation.
I went to the party, but it was terrible. I wish I hadn’t gone to the party.
He told me the truth and now I’m I wish he hadn’t told me the truth. When the situations or events that we
upset. regret are in the past, use the past
perfect to express regret that things
I went to bed late last night, now I’m I wish I hadn’t gone to bed so late were not different.
very tired. last night.
We can use ‘If only...’ in the same way as ‘wish’ to express that we would like things to be different. The same tenses are
used as shown in the table above. The only difference is that ‘if only’ expresses more emphasis than ‘wish’ and it is often
used as alone without a main clause as a response to some alternative version of reality.
E.g. A: “You should sell your house, give up your job and move to the country” B: “If only!”
Talking about the future - if, when, as soon as, unless
We can use if, when and as soon as and unless in sentences to talk about the future.
Look at these examples:
What are you going to do when you get to the gym?
He’ll call us as soon as he gets there.
I’ll be able to wear my new clothes if I lose weight.
Unless I lose weight I won’t be able to wear my new clothes.
Although we use these linking words to talk about the future, we use the present simple
He’ll call us as soon as he gets there.
In negative statements we use the auxiliary verb don’t (do not)/doesn’t (does not) +
I won’t be able to wear my old clothes again if I don’t lose weight.
Use When to talk about something which will definitely happen:
I will run for an hour when I get to the gym.
This is my plan. I have decided this and I am sure it is going to happen.
Use if when it is possible that something might (or might not) happen:
I will run for an hour if I get to the gym.
I’ve got a lot of work to do today and might not have time to go to the gym.
The negative of if is unless. It means if not.
I’ll go to the gym unless I have to stay late at work.
So, if I finish my work I will go to the gym but if I have to stay late I will not go to the
As soon as
Use as soon as like when. It means at the moment that. As with when, you are sure it is
going to happen.
I will run for an hour as soon as I get to the gym.
As soon as/ immediately after I get to the gym, I will definitely run. I am sure of this.
Direct Question: Where is she going?
Indirect Question: He asked where she was going.
As you can see the interrogative form of the verb changes to the affirmative form. The
question mark (?) is therefore omitted in indirect questions:
He said: ‘Where does she live?’ = He asked where she lived.
If the direct question word comes with a question word, the question word is repeated in
the indirect question.
He said: ‘Why don’t you put your coat on?’
He asked why she didn’t put her coat on.
If there is no question word, then ‘if’ or ‘whether’ must be used.
She said: ‘Do you want to go shopping?’
She asked if (whether) I wanted to go shopping.
Interested or Interesting
In English we can use an -ed adjective (past participle of a verb) to describe how we feel
I'm tired. Can we have a break?
She's so excited about going abroad for the first time.
We use an -ing adjective (present participle of a verb) to talk about the person or thing
that makes us feel tired or excited, etc.
I've had such a tiring day. I need a rest.
The holiday is going to be so exciting. So many new things to see.
Modal verbs for advice
Modal verbs we can use to give advice are:
should ought to had better
Subject + modal verb + infinitive (without to)
You should see a doctor.
Modal verb + subject + infinitive (without to) ………….?
Should I see a doctor?
Subject + Modal verb + not (n’t) + infinitive (without to)…………………
You shouldn’t + see a doctor.
The same rules apply as for should but in the negative we cannot use a contraction:
You had better not go running today.√
You had bettern’t go running today. ×
Also, look at the question formation:
Had I better see a doctor (do you think)?
As above we sometimes write ‘do you think?’ When asking a question involving advice.
The same rules apply as for should but we need to keep the ‘to’ in all cases:
I ought to do more exercise.√
I ought do more exercise. ×
Also, look at how we form a question:
Ought I to do more exercise?
As with all modal verbs, the form is the same for all persons. There is no –s in the
third person singular.
You ought to
S/he should do more exercise.
We had better
Also, as with most modal verbs, they refer to both the present and the future.
You shouldn’t eat too much next Ramadan.
We often introduce advice with ‘I think’ or ‘I don’t think’.
I think you should eat more vitamins.
I don’t think you ought to smoke.
Should, ought to and had better are used to express what the speaker thinks is the right
or best thing to do. They express mild obligation or advice.
He should stop eating chocolate. (This is my opinion. It would be better for him
to stop eating chocolate).
They are different in tone from must and have to as these both express strong
obligation and with have to the obligation comes from outside; perhaps a law, a rule at
school or work, or someone in authority.
You have to have a driving license if you want to drive a car.
Must comes from inside the speaker.
I must lose weight. (I think this is necessary.)
Because must expresses the authority of the speaker you should avoid using ‘you must’
for advice as it sounds very bossy!
You must try these new tablets. = I am giving you an order!
Would like or like?
What’s the difference?
I like apples = I like eating apples in general.
I would like an apple = I want an apple.
We use like to talk about our preferences.
We use would like to talk for requests and offers.
Subject + like/s + plural noun / gerund.
He likes strawberries.
I like chocolate (uncountable noun).
They like cooking.
Subject + don’t/doesn’t like + plural noun / gerund.
do not/does not like
She doesn’t like peaches.
I don’t like green vegatables.
They don’t like washing the dishes.
Do/does + subject + like + plural noun / gerund?
Do you like mangoes /
What (topic area) do/does + subject + like?
What food/music do you like?
Subject + would like + determiner + noun
I ‘d like some chocolate.
She would like an orange.
They ‘d like a cup of tea.
We ‘d like a biscuit.
Subject + would not like + determiner + noun.
I wouldn’t like any chocloate.
We wouldn’t like an orange.
They wouldn’t like a cup of tea.
We wouldn’t like a biscuit.
Often, in the negative it is more natural to use ‘don’t want’ instead of ‘wouldn’t like’.
- I don’t want any chocolate.
We also often use the short reply ‘No thank you’
-Do you want some coke?
-No thank you.
Also, when you are replying to an offer you should say ‘Thank you’ as it is more polite
and it is culturally important to be polite in England!
I don’t want any bread thank you.
Would + subject + like + determiner + noun?
Would you like some sugar?
a piece of cake?
Answer = Yes, please. Or No thank you.
In English, we use one linking word (or conjunction) to join two clauses to make a longer sentence:
She didn't feel very well. She went to work.
She went to work although she didn't feel very well.
She didn't feel very well but she went to work.
We cannot use two linking words:
Although she didn't feel very well, but she went to work.
Linking words also show the relation between the two clauses. The relation can be:
We brought the pizza and they got the soft drinks.
They were weak but they worked really hard.
Everyone liked her because she was a very friendly person.
Usually, these linking words go in the middle of a sentence joining two clauses together but some
linking words can be used to start a sentence:
Because the weather is so nice, I think I'll go to the pool.
Despite the noise, the baby slept.
Although there was a lot of traffic, we got to the airport on time.
However hard I try, I can't stop smoking.
If you are using and, but, so, or to join two clauses, these cannot go at the beginning of the
Measuring the Uncountable
Uncountable nouns are nouns that we do not usually use in a plural form, e.g.
air, sand, ice, wisdom (NOT airs, sands, ices, wisdoms).
You cannot use a/an before an uncountable noun.
Instead, you can use an amount or form of measurement and the word of, e.g.
A breath of air A bar of chocolate A drop of oil
A grain of sand A cake/bar of soap A piece of information
A block of ice A pane of glass A bit of news
A can of Coke A piece of advice A pot of jam
Modal verbs are can, could, may, might, shall, should, must, will and would.
We never use them on their own, but always with another 'main' verb.
All these verbs act in the same way, grammatically:
Modal verbs don't take ‘s’ in the third person:
She may like to go home early (not She mays)
After modal verbs, we use the infinitive without ‘to’:
I must clean my room. (not I must to clean my room)
To make a modal verb negative, we use 'not' (or the contraction: 'n't'). We do not
use the auxiliary verb 'don't' or 'doesn't':
She can't swim (not She doesn't can …)
To make a question, we invert the modal verb and the subject. We do not use the
auxiliary verb 'do' or 'does':
Will you help me? (not Do you will…?)
The meaning of modal verbs can be difficult because they all have more than one
She can't play the piano very well. (she does not have the skill or ability).
You can't smoke in here. (You are not allowed to).
It can be helpful to put modal verbs into meaning groups like these:
Certainty I shall be away for the rest of the week.
We will be there on time.
Probability / He should be here any minute.
Possibility He can't be 80! He looks much younger.
You could hurt yourself. Be careful!
They may buy a new house.
She might be right.
It must be time to go.
Conditional certainty We would do it differently if we had more money.
or possibility They couldn’t move in without the help of the
I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
Obligation Students must follow school rules.
All employees will be here by 9:00 for the staff photo.
Prohibition You must not use the computers without permission.
You can’t stay in here after 2:00.
Her father said she couldn't go to the party.
Dictionaries may not be used in the exam.
Weak obligation / You should taste this pie. It's delicious.
Advice You might want to think about that.
Permission Can I use your phone?
May I speak to Samah, please?
Do you think I might leave early today?
Ability She can speak five languages.
I can’t swim very well.
I could walk when I was one.
However, generally the meaning of modal verbs is clear from the context, i.e. sentences
that come before or after the sentence with the modal verb.
certainty (n.) يقين؛ أمر مؤكد
probability (n.) إحتمالية
possibility (n.) إمكانية
conditional (adj.) شرطي
obligation (n.) واجب؛ التزام
prohibition (n.) منع
weak (adj.) ضعيف
advice (n.) نصيحة
permission (n.) إذن
ability (n.) استطاعة
We look at ‘of’ again because we have to use it with some words:
1. After some, any, much, many, a lot... and before groups of things or people
A lot of people in England speak only English
Some of you will visit the UK
2. With certain nouns: front, back, end, beginning, middle
The middle of England is called ‘the Midlands’
The words on the front of the British Passport are French!
3. With certain adjectives: proud, afraid, sick, certain
The British are proud of their football team
The Welsh are afraid of losing their language, so they still teach it in schools
4. With certain verbs: remind, dream, think
Eating marmite reminds me of the UK
Are you thinking of studying in the UK?
What are ‘possessive adjectives’?
A possessive adjective is a word that tells us who something belongs to.
The possessive adjectives are: my, your, his, her, its, our and their.
Look at the examples and notice how we always use the noun after a possessive
This is my bag, not your bag, Omar!
Marian's not very well. Her doctor told her to stay at home for a few days.
Is this your jacket or your brother’s? It's not my jacket, it's his jacket.
Call the children to open their presents.
A tree loses its leaves in autumn.
This is a photo of our new house.
Personal Pronoun Possessive Adjective
What are ‘possessive pronouns’?
Possessive pronouns are words that we use instead of a possessive adjective + a noun.
Possessive pronouns are: mine, yours, his, hers, its, theirs and ours.
Look at the examples:
'Whose bag is this?' 'It's mine.'
This isn't my jacket. It must be yours.
That's my brother’s camera. I'm sure it's his.
Marian had to call my doctor. Hers is away on holiday at the moment.
Call the children to open their presents. These are all theirs.
This is a photo of our new house. It's ours, at last!
Personal Pronoun Possessive Possessive
I my mine
you your yours
he his his
she her hers
it its its
they their theirs
we our ours
- The expression of mine etc, means one of my. For
example: She is a friend of mine = She is one of my
friends. He is a brother of hers = He is one of
Present perfect or past simple?
Here is a summary of when we use the present perfect and when we use the past simple:
Past simple Present perfect
An action which started in the past and
We say exactly when an action in the past continues to the present.
happened (or this is clear from the context).
We don’t say exactly when the action
Completed actions in the past. happened.
To talk about how many times we have
To talk about general experience.
The results of the action are important in
The time reference in the sentence includes
Present perfect formation
I/you/we/they + have + past participle
s/he/it + has
I have heard it.
I/you/we/they + haven’t + past participle
s/he/it + hasn’t
They haven’t become famous yet.
She hasn’t produced an album recently.
Have you/I/we/they + past participle
Has + s/he/it
Have you been to The USA?
Ol Khalsum was a great singer. (It’s completed. He’s dead now)
Shakira performed in Cairo this year. (The exact time is mentioned – this year).
Although you can learn these basic rules you will find occasions on which they seem to
have been broken. This is because the main reason for using either the past simple or
present perfect depends on whether or not we see the action as related to the present,
even if we do not mention the time:
‘Omar’s had an accident!’ – (I see it as something worrying still now because he
is not yet better).
‘Omar had an accident.’ _ (I don’t see it as a problem now. I think he’s OK now).
Present simple versus present continuous
In English, there are two ways to talk about the present:
Structure Usage Example
Used to talk about:
Present I - things that It rains in March.
Simple You happen all the
We infinitive time
They - things that are I come from Morocco.
He - regular events We play football
She infinitive + s or every Thursday.
It es - future things if My class finishes at 5
they are so please wait; I'll
'timetabled' meet you outside
Present I am - things that are They're talking about
Continuous* true now and us!
He happening 'as we
She is speak’
It verb + - things that are She's dating
ing true now but not Abdullah, but he's in
You happening now Baghdad.
They are - things that are We're living with his
temporary parents until the
apartment is ready.
- planned future I'm meeting Sara
arrangements tomorrow night at 6'
(Sara and I agreed).
* British people say Present Continuous, Americans say Present Progressive, but they are
exactly the same.
.'es’) only in the Present Simple and only with 'he', 'she' or 'it‘ We must use 's' (or
We must always use 'am', 'is' or 'are' to make a correct 'Present Continuous'.
Present Simple Passive
Active or Passive?
Compare the differences between the active and passive.
The subject of The verb The object
the sentence agrees with comes after
comes first the subject the verb
produces more pollution.
The object of The past The subject
the sentence participle is comes last
comes first used
is produced by The U.S.
“Is” or “are” “By”
agrees with introduces
the object the subject
When to use the passive
Note that in a passive sentence it is not always necessary to mention the subject. This
is when the subject is not known, or we don’t need to state it because it is obvious.
E.g. Papyrus is made in Egypt. (It’s not necessary to say who makes it)
subject (n.) فاعل
object (n.) مفعول به
subject verb agreement موافقة الفعل للفاعل في اإلفراد والجمع
state (v.) يذكر
obvious (adj.) واضح
Papyrus (n.) ورق البردي
Ramadan and Eid
Look at this example:
We go to my parents’ house for breakfast during Ramadan.
The present simple is used here to express something which generally happens. It shows
that something is true or happens repeatedly.
Adverbs of frequency can be added to this to give more information to the sentence and
show how often an action happens.
E.g. We sometimes go to my parents’ house for breakfast during Ramadan.
Other examples of frequency adverbs include: never, hardly ever, rarely, often, usually,
These also add information about the main verb in a sentence. They are used to express
ideas about the main verb such as obligation, permission, or advice. Modal verbs have no
third person –s, do not need do for question and negative forms and are always followed
by the infinitive form of the main verb. Examples of modal verbs: can, could, had better,
may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, would.
Expressing obligation and prohibition
Look at these examples:
You must put those back when you finish.
We must go now or we’ll be late for our train.
You have to put those back when you finish.
We have to go now or we’ll be late for our train.
In the first two sentences the idea of obligation is expressed with the modal verb must.
Have to in the second two sentences is considered semi-modal because it works in a
similar way to must. However, it does use a third person –s and it also needs do for
questions and negatives.
In their positive forms, must and have to are very close in meaning ( - must is preferred if
the obligation comes form the speaker). When they are used in their negative forms, the
meanings are very different. Consider these two sentences:
You mustn’t park your car outside the school.
You don’t have to park your car outside the school.
The first sentence expresses a negative obligation and is the same as saying ‘You
can’t…’. Another semi-modal structure that could be used for a negative obligation is ‘be
allowed to’ e.g. ‘You aren’t allowed to park….’
The second sentence means there is no obligation and means you are free to park outside
the school if you want to.
It is grammatically correct to make questions using must by inverting the subject and
modal verb e.g. Must we go…?
In modern language this has been almost completely replaced by using have to e.g. Do
we have to go…?
A past obligation is expressed using the past form of have to i.e. had to.
Modal verbs add ‘mood’ to the main verb and express an idea about it. Examples of this
are how must, have to and related verbs forms add the idea of obligation to the main
Habits and general truths can be expressed without modal verbs using the present simple
tense. Adverbs and other structures add information to this. However, the modal verb
‘would’ and the semi-modal ‘used’ are both Important in expressing habits in the past.
For example we can say:
He used to get up early when he was a teenager. or He would get up early when he
was a teenager.
These sentences both express a habit in the past – a repeated action that happened often in
the past, but doesn’t happen now. Note though that only ‘used to’ and not ‘would’ can be
used to talk about past states (e.g. When I was younger I used to believe…. NOT When I
was younger I would believe…).
Another way the word ‘used’ is connected with habits is in a different structure for
talking about how things become familiar to people. In this structure ‘used’ comes
between be or get and whatever is or isn’t familiar.
When I first arrived in Italy, I couldn’t get used to the food.
It took me months to get used to working from home.
I’m used to fasting during Ramadan – I’ve been doing it since I was fifteen.
Notice that the thing which is or isn’t familiar can be a noun or –ing forms.