Anna tries to plan to see a movie with a friend. But they are both very busy. Will they find a time to get together? What will they do?
English has two ways to show something is happening at a future time. To form the simple future, use will and then the simple form of the verb. You can use will to express a desire to do something. The second form of the simple future is be going to. Use "be + going to" when you already have a plan to do something.
There are also two shortened forms of future verbs. In casual conversation, most Americans will change going to to gonna. English speakers often change we will to we’ll. Another shortened form in this lesson is want to shortened to wanna.
Anna: This city is very interesting, I really like my job, and I have some good friends! Speaking of friends … I see one now! Marsha! Hi!
Marsha: Hi, Anna. What’s going on?
Anna: Not much. How about you?
Marsha: Busy as usual. Hey, do you wanna see a movie with me?
Anna: Sure! I never have time to see a movie. When?
Marsha: Are you busy this Thursday at 6pm?
Anna: Let’s see …. I’m busy. I am going to tap dance with my friends Thursday night.
Marsha: Tap dancing? That sounds fun!
Anna: I’m still learning. But it is fun!
Anna: Are you busy on Friday night?
Marsha: Yes. Friday nights are when I visit my parents.
Anna: What do you and your family do together?
Marsha: We always eat dinner together and sometimes we play board games.
Anna: Playing board games is fun, too! The word game Scrabble is my favorite.
Marsha: I like Connect Four!
Anna: I’m not busy Monday night. Are you?
Marsha: I am busy on Monday night. I’m going to jog in the park with my friend. Do you jog?
Anna: Oh! I always jog. Well, sometimes I jog. Okay, I never jog. But I will try because it is good for you.
Marsha: I always feel great after I jog.
Marsha: How about on Wednesday night?
Anna: Wednesday night I am not busy. Oh, no, wait. This Wednesday night I will be busy.
Marsha: What are you doing?
Anna: I’m going to teach children how to play the ukulele.
Anna: Now, children, play “C.” Good. I like your “C.”
Marsha: The world does need more ukulele players.
Anna: Marsha, it looks like we’ll never have time to see a movie.
Anna: Wait a minute. Are you busy now?
Marsha: It’s Saturday afternoon. This is always when I do my errands.
Anna: Okay, but the new Star Wars movie is gonna start in 30 minutes.
Marsha: I’ll do my errands on Sunday. Let’s go!
Anna: Most days of the week, people are really busy. But it’s important to find time to be with your friends!
Anna: Until next time!
* Connect Four is a two-player connection game using colored discs.
What do you like to do with your friends? Is it easy or difficult to find time to be with your friends? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email. Tell us two or three things you do with friends using words like always, usually and sometimes. You can also download the Activity Sheet and practice writing about your schedule.
Activity Sheet Lesson 17
Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.
The learning strategy for this lesson is Evaluate. When we evaluate our own language learning, we think of how well we are learning, remembering and practicing the language.
We evaluate after doing many things. For example, in the video for this lesson, Anna and Marsha talk about jogging. Anna evaluates her plan to jog: "I will try because it is good for you." Then, Marsha evaluates her feelings after jogging. "I always feel great after I jog." You can evaluate any time you stop to think about your learning (that is, monitor, the strategy in Lesson 16). Ask yourself: "Am I listening often to English? Am I practicing English every day? How can I learn more?" Evaluating helps learners to understand what is working well and make new plans for learning well.
How do you evaluate your own learning? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.
Test your understanding by taking this listening quiz. Play the video, then choose the best answer.
Note: You can listen to the definitions of these words in the Speaking Practice Video.
always - adv. at all times; on every occasion; in a way that does not change
board games - a game (such as chess) that is played by moving pieces on a special board
important - adj. having serious meaning or worth
jog - v. to run slowly especially for exercise
movie - n. a recording of moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television
night - n. the time of darkness between one day and the next
play - v. to do activities for fun or enjoyment
Scrabble - trademark. a board game in which players use lettered tiles to create words in a crossword fashion.
sing - v. to use your voice to make musical sounds in the form of a song or tune
sometimes - adv. at certain times; occasionally
Star Wars - n. an epic film series chronicling the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker
start - v. to do the first part of something : to begin doing something
tap dance - n. a kind of dance in which you wear special shoes with metal plates on the heels and toes and make tapping sounds with your feet
teaching - v. to cause or help (someone) to learn about a subject by giving lessons
ukulele - n. a musical instrument that is like a small guitar with four strings
week - n. a period of seven days - in the U.S., a week is usually considered to start on Sunday and end on Saturday, while in the U.K. a week is usually considered to start on Monday and end on Sunday.
will - modal verb. used to say that something is expected to happen in the future
Days of the Week:
In the U.S., the week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
Sunday / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday
Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.
Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom. In this lesson, you can use it to practice talking about activities and schedules.
Lesson 17 Lesson Plan
See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.
Grammar focus: Simple Future tense with will and going to.
Topics: Talking about schedules and leisure time activities
Learning Strategy: Evaluate
Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Future verb forms; shortened forms of future verbs and invitations.
Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.