10 Phrases for Talking About the Future

YouTube video

Everyday English Speaking Course

#1 – It will/could happen any minute/day now.

Use this phrase to say that an event is definitely going to happen VERY soon, but it is not known exactly when. For example – “The doctors say she could have the baby any day now.”

#2 – It’s just/right around the corner.

“Just around the corner” means that something will happen soon (and you DO know exactly when). For example, in the beginning of December, you could say that “Christmas is just around the corner.”

#3 – We’re planning to move in the near future.

“In the near future” also means “soon” (usually without knowing exactly when) – but this phrase doesn’t have the same sense of immediacy as “any minute/day now.” “In the near future” usually means a few weeks/months in the future.

#4 – It will/won’t happen in our lifetime.

“In our lifetime” means in the next 50-60 years. For example, you could say, “Medicine is progressing very fast; I think a cure for cancer will be developed in our lifetime.”

#5 – It’s a sign/taste of things to come.

Use this phrase when something happens that indicates how things will be in the future. For example, if the economy is starting to get worse and worse, you could say, “Three people I know have lost their jobs recently – this is a sign of things to come” – meaning that you believe many more people will lose their jobs in the future.

#6 – I’m counting the days until…

Use this phrase when you are anxiously awaiting a future event; you want it to happen soon. For example, “I’m counting down the days until my trip to the Caribbean!”

#7 – Sooner or later… / It’s bound to happen eventually.

Use these phrase to say that something will DEFINITELY happen sometime in the future (it may be soon, or it may be far in the future.)

#8 – I’ll get around to it.

Use this phrase to say that you will do something in the future, when you have the time. It is usually used for activities that are not especially urgent.

#9 – I’ll do it right away. / I’ll get right on it.

Use these phrases to say that you will do something in the future, as soon as possible. These expressions are used for urgent tasks.

#10 – Time will tell.

Use this phrase to say that a situation is currently uncertain, but in the future it will become clear. For example, if you are discussing whether or not the country’s new president is good, you could say “Time will tell” to express that the answer will be revealed over the coming months/years.

Learn practical spoken English for daily life:

10 Phrases for Talking About the Future Espresso English

Learn more about the Speaking Course