"Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (2024)

  • tenses

Tomorrow will be Friday. It’s a simple English sentence. Sentences like this are very common in English language teaching, but is this something a native English speaker would typically say?

Early in a child’s study, they are taught the days of the week. Teaching the days of the week often includes drilling questions and answers like this:

“What day is it today?” “Today is Thursday.”

“What day was it yesterday?” “Yesterday was Wednesday.”

“What day will it be tomorrow?” “Tomorrow will be Friday.”

Any student in a class like this would think that this is how native speakers typically talk about days of the week.

It’s not.

The more natural sentence is:

“What day is it tomorrow?” “Tomorrow is Friday.”

Many teachers have been asking questions like “What day will it be tomorrow?” for as long as they can remember. But, if we stop and think, when do people actually say, “Tomorrow will be Friday”?

Well, it is possible, but quite unusual.

This raises the question of what we teach. Do we teach what the book says is “correct”, or teach the language that people use in everyday life? My students want to develop skills to communicate with people in real life.

So, what sentences do people usually use?

People typically say: “Tomorrow is Friday.”

“Tomorrow is Friday” is the more common sentence, used in most situations. Here is some data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA):

"Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (2)

In real life tomorrow will be…is not usually used to simply express what day it is tomorrow.

98% of the examples use Tomorrow is… to refer to a day of the week. These sentences simply say what day tomorrow is:

ROBIN ROBERTS: Death At A Funeral opens in theaters tomorrow,tomorrow’sFriday, TGIF.

CHRIS ROCK:Tomorrow’sFriday, yeah.

Even when we’re not talking about days, Tomorrow is…is far more common and useful than Tomorrow will be…

"Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (3)

The examples of tomorrow will be…in COCA typically refer to predictions or decisions for tomorrow, such as:

Tomorrow will be a good/better day. – prediction
Tomorrow will be a day of (mourning/prayer). – decision

Although willis less common in the sentences and graphs above, it is a very useful word in English. So when teaching, we should provide students with examples of how will is really used. In English there are many expressions that are used when talking about the future. When we give students authentic examples, they can develop a sense of how people use willand what it really means.

Learning real-life English

If the student’s goal is to communicate with people in real life, it makes sense for the teacher to teach the English that people use in real life.

But teachers also need teaching resources. Many teachers tend to grab a book and teach from it. “Tomorrow will be…” is in textbooks, so many teachers accept it and teach it.

And this make sense. It is a perfectly grammatical sentence and people understand what you are trying to say if you use it.

But is it what people say?

Think about your own experiences with English. Look at the data above or go to a corpus and have a look for yourself. Is it common to use “tomorrow will be…” to simply refer to what day tomorrow is?

When the goal is to speak with other English speakers in real life, it makes sense to learn and use the same structures that people commonly use.

Getting the basics right

People use sentences the way they do because it makes sense to them to do so. It fits in with their understanding of how the language works.

When students practice basic sentences as they are naturally used, it helps them develop their own sense of how the language works.

After learning vocabulary or a grammar point in class, it often doesn’t really stick until we encounter people using it naturally.

I know that for me (learning Japanese), I often see people use what I learn and think “ah, so that’s how they do it!” Seeing this gives me confidence to use the structure myself.

But when the grammar that students are taught in class and real-life English doesn’t match, it only causes problems. It is hard to make the connection between what we learn and what people say.

We shouldn’t be surprised that many students have trouble making sense ofEnglish tensesand other grammar, because they’re often fed strange sentences from the beginning of their studies that simply don’t match real-world usage.

A misunderstanding at the basic level is likely to cause bigger problems as students progress in their studies. Students will have trouble understanding more complex grammar simply because they haven’t understood the basics.

If a structure doesn’t fit the situation, so why lead students to believe that it does?

We can continue to follow tradition and teachwillas a future tense marker, but at what cost?

Looking for a good grammar book that gets the basics right?

Grammar helps people understand each other better.

If you are interested in a grammar book that looks at common parts of English sentences and what they mean, and how people often use them (like will on this page), be sure to check out Real Grammar.

With Real Grammar you understand grammatical meaning. Grammatical meaning helps you understand more of what people say in English.

Real Grammar is grammar for communication.

"Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (4)


Here is a chart for presenting yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and the days of the week to young learners. The sentences are simple and are what people usually use in everyday life.


  • "Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (6)

    urthcreatureJanuary 24, 2023 (2:27 am)


    Yes these are all interesting points of idiomatic language for native speakers and advanced students but pointing out every anomaly and exception is just needlessly confusing for beginning students. No wonder the poor student who was parroting this stuff to me was so confused. Yes there definitely is a future tense in English formed with will + base verb or be + going to + base verb. Then it is usually explained that native speakers also often use present simple and present progressive forms to express the future (for future plans, scheduled things, and also within dependent clauses like “When you get here, I will be at the office.”) A student read this article and others like it and actually thought the future forms (will/be going to) can always be replaced with the present forms and that English doesn’t have a present tense. Imagine: Where do you think you’ll be living in ten years? “I live here in ten years.” “I am still living here in ten years.” What do you think the future will be like? Will our houses be the same? What will cities be like in 2050? What condition will the planet be in? Answers with present and present progressive: I think the future is probably really different. Cities change a lot by 2050. The planet is possibly in worse condition. (There definitely is a future tense in English and we do often use the future tense to describe it.)

    Grammar “Rules” have always been descriptions of language patterns in a language that provide learners with a shortcut to understanding the language. Learning grammar solely by ear without these handy shortcuts just takes longer. That’s the point of them. Many language students enjoy knowing the architecture of the language just out of interest and because it enhances understanding and the ability to use the language.

    • "Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (7)

      Eldridge CarlJanuary 27, 2023 (2:55 am)


      Yes, for beginners we want to keep things simple. The question is, are they better off following a traditional rule or practicing the phrases that are most commonly used by expert speakers? I don’t see any harm in telling a beginner to say “Tomorrow is Friday”. If we practice “Tomorrow will be Friday” it is likely that students will form a misunderstanding and assume that ‘will’ is always used when talking about the future, and the student will also assume that this is how people usually talk – when in fact it may seem strange.

      These are only anomalies and exceptions if you say that ‘will’ marks a future tense. If you look at phrases and what they mean, these anomalies and exceptions simply disappear because our new understanding covers these uses as well.

      Students are often confused because they get differing information. Some grammar books tell them about a future tense, so they think they need to use ‘will’ when talking about the future, but then they also encounter natural English and notice that expert speakers often talk about the future without ‘will’.

      And as you say, descriptions of grammar are a helpful shortcut. Beginners can practice everyday phrases about the future that use the present simple, like the ones in the article and other useful phrases for discussing timing of fixed future events (timetables, schedules, etc.) Then we can introduce the situations you mentioned with ‘will’. The student can see the meaning that ‘will’ adds and why this meaning is appropriate in the situation: there are possibilities and the speaker is making a prediction. (I like to draw time as a path. When we talk about a fixed future, it is a single path. When there is an unknown future, there is a fork in the road and we can choose which way we go. We then look at decisions and predictions with ‘will’) In this way ‘will’ implies future when no time is stated. If I decide or predict now, I do it later (in the future).

      We want to describe the language to help them understand, but focusing on a future tense can cause confusion because it doesn’t apply to every situation. There are many phrases that can be used when talking about the future (some use ‘will’, others don’t), and ‘will’ is also sometimes used when talking about the present. If we say ‘future tense’ are we providing the student with an accurate explanation?

      The important thing is that students understand English as it is used, and as teachers we can provide more information to them to make sure they have a clear understanding, and help them through any misunderstandings about meaning and usage they may have. Let’s keep it simple. We can address basic questions without getting caught up in terminology, formulas and linguistic theory. What meaning does ‘will’ contribute? Why is ‘will’ useful when we talk about the future?

The day after tomorrow

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"Tomorrow Will Be Friday" Is This Really How We Talk About the Future? (2024)


Can tomorrow be considered future? ›

Tomorrow is a temporal construct of the relative future; literally of the day after the current day (today), or figuratively of future periods or times. Tomorrow is usually considered just beyond the present and counter to yesterday.

Is it correct to say tomorrow it will be Friday? ›

"Tomorrow will be Friday" is correct.

What is the difference between be going to and will when talking about future events? ›

Will is used when referring to the future with certainty and for recent, rapid decisions. Going to is used to refer to events that have been previously planned.

Is it tomorrow is Friday or tomorrow will be Friday? ›

People typically say: “Tomorrow is Friday.”

In real life tomorrow will be… is not usually used to simply express what day it is tomorrow. 98% of the examples use Tomorrow is… to refer to a day of the week.

What are the 4 types of future? ›

There are four future verb tenses in English.
  • Simple future tense.
  • Future continuous tense.
  • Future perfect tense.
  • Future perfect continuous tense.

What is the rule of future? ›

Structure of Future Tense
TypeGeneral Formula & Rule
Simple Future TenseSubject + will/shall + V1 + Object
Future Perfect TenseSubject + will have/shall have + V3 + Object
Future Continuous TenseSubject + will be/shall be + V1 + ing + Object
1 more row
Sep 29, 2022

Does by tomorrow mean you can do it tomorrow? ›

If we use by, we denote the deadline or maximum time limit. The time limit should not exceed that particular date/day/time. Therefore, yes, by tomorrow includes tomorrow and means that the time limit should not exceed tomorrow. By Friday includes Friday.

Is it correct to say tomorrow will be Tuesday? ›

Either is fine, except is is in present tense, and will be is future tense. The more common usage is is, of course, but will be is also used. For example, today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday, the day after next is Thursday, etc. Another example is if today is Tuesday, then tomorrow will be Wednesday.

What do you call it when you think about what will happen in the future? ›

Foresight is the ability to predict, or the action of predicting, what will happen or what is needed in the future.

What is it called when you talk about the future? ›

Some common synonyms of foretell are forecast, predict, prognosticate, and prophesy. While all these words mean "to tell beforehand," foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information.

What is an example of talking about the future? ›

We often use verbs like would like, plan, want, mean, hope, expect to talk about the future: What are you going to do next year? I'd like to go to university. We plan to go to France for our holidays.

What does this coming Friday means? ›

"This coming Friday" is "The Friday which is imminent". That is if today is Wednesday the 9th "This coming Friday" is Friday the 11th. This is to distinguish it from "Next Friday" which is often taken to be the Friday of the next week.

What day would it be if yesterday had been Wednesday's tomorrow and tomorrow is Sunday's yesterday? ›

If yesterday had been Wednesday's tomorrow, that means yesterday was Thursday. And if tomorrow is Sunday's yesterday, that means tomorrow will be Saturday. So after Thursday and before Saturday, There is Friday. The answer is: Friday.

Why do they call it tomorrow? ›

Tomorrow comes from the Middle English, from the preposition to + morrow. Morrow, which is an archaic or literary word meaning "the following day," comes from Middle English morwe, from Old English morgen.

What are the times of future? ›

Just like the past and present tenses, there is more than one future tense in English. These change depending on the function and what we want to say. Today we're going to look at four future tenses: the future simple, the future continuous, the future perfect and the future perfect continuous.

What are three forms of future going to? ›

Future forms: 'will', 'be going to' and present continuous.

How the future is formed? ›

The formula for the simple future is will + [root form of verb]. I will learn a new language. Jen will read that book. My brothers will sleep till noon if no one wakes them up.

Why is it called future time? ›

Future tense is called future time because it denotes the time of future. ex:- he will write, it will happen in future, so it denotes the time of future not past or present.

Does future simple exist? ›

There is no simple (morphological) future tense as such. However, the future can also be expressed by employing an auxiliary construction that combines certain present tense auxiliary verbs with the simple infinitive (stem) of the main verb.

What is simple future? ›

The simple future refers to a time later than now, and expresses facts or certainty. In this case there is no 'attitude'. The simple future is used: To predict a future event: It will rain tomorrow.

What is the old time saying for tomorrow? ›

What does morrow mean? Morrow is a literary or poetic way of saying tomorrow or the next day. In some cases, it's also used to mean the morning or the period after something. Morrow is most often seen in old poetry and literature.

How do I stop saying I will start tomorrow? ›

4 Ways to Beat the “I'll Start Tomorrow” Trap
  1. WRITE OUT YOUR “WHY” The first step is to get out a pen and paper to answer a couple important questions. ...
Sep 11, 2019

How do you say tomorrow in a fancy way? ›

Synonyms of tomorrow
  1. future.
  2. futurity.
  3. offing.
  4. hereafter.
  5. by-and-by.
  6. finality.
  7. posterity.
  8. eventuality.

What is the correct meaning of tomorrow? ›

noun. the day following today: Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny. a future period or time: the stars of tomorrow. adverb. on the morrow; on the day following today: Come tomorrow at this same time.

What does expected by tomorrow mean? ›

Generally, the deadline “by tomorrow” means you have time until midnight the day following the present one to do what you have to do. Someone stating this does not set a specific time, but expect it done before midnight the day following today.

What does done by tomorrow mean? ›

“It will be done by tomorrow” means that someone is still working on the task, and they expect it to be finished by the day after today.

Is it correct to say next tomorrow? ›

You can say 'next tomorrow' – and it's correct English.

Is tomorrows a right word? ›

The word is used when referring to the near future (e.g., tomorrow's leaders). Sometimes, we often misspell the word tomorrow. Common misspellings of the word are: tomoro, tommorrow, tommorow, tomorro, tomarow, tomorow, The correct spelling of the word is “T-O-M-O-R-R-O-W”.

How do you use tomorrow in a sentence? ›

[M] [T] Her birthday party will be tomorrow evening. [M] [T] He said that he would come back here tomorrow. [M] [T] She intends to play tennis tomorrow afternoon. [M] [T] I'm getting up at six o'clock tomorrow morning.

What is a person that predicts the future? ›

soothsayer • \SOOTH-say-er\ • noun. : a person who predicts the future by magical, intuitive, or more rational means : prognosticator.

Do humans have foresight? ›

The answer, according to cognitive psychologists Thomas Suddendorf, Jonathan Redshaw, and Adam Bulley, is foresight, humans' unique ability to predict and plan for the future in ways that no other animal can.

What is the name of the person who can predict the future? ›

A fortune teller is also known as a soothsayer, or someone who claims to be able to predict the future.

What is the word for worrying about the future? ›

Anticipatory anxiety describes fear and worry around bad things that could happen.

What is the fear of talking about the future? ›

Chronophobia is defined as the persistent and often irrational fear of the future or the fear of passing time.

Why do people talk about the future? ›

Some people find that talking about future plans brings a sense of release or calmness, as it may give you more control over the care you receive in the future. Others find it difficult to acknowledge that they will die one day. Some people don't want to think or talk about these things at all.

What are the 4 ways of talking about the future? ›

There are 4 ways of expressing the future tense in English: will, be going to, the present continuous, and the simple present.

Is it OK to talk about the future? ›

Discussions about the future can be intimidating; there are so many things about the future that are a mystery. However, talking about your future is an important part of any relationship and can help ensure its success.

How long is it when someone says in the near future? ›

Very soon, within a short time. For example, We'll be needing a new car in the near future. This term employs near in the sense of “close at hand,” a usage dating from about 1300.

What does Friday mean in mythology? ›

Frígg gave the name to Friday. Frigg is Odin's wife in Norse mythology. She was perceived as the goddess of marriage. She was also a protector and helper in traditional women's work, such as weaving, sewing and cooking.

What does thank God is Friday mean? ›

Thank God It's Friday, or the acronym TGIF, is a common expression used on Friday in English-speaking Western countries. It expresses gratification that the working week is nearly over, and a weekend of leisure will soon be here. It may also refer to: T.G.I. Fridays, an American restaurant chain.

What does tomorrow is not coming mean? ›

A goal or action which is postponed until a future day is often never accomplished; do not procrastinate.

What would have been today if only yesterday was tomorrow? ›

Today= Monday, Yesterday= Sunday. Therefore=(In real life) Today is Monday, if yesterday(Sunday) will be tomorrow, that means; today would have been a Saturday. The answer is Monday.

What is the answer to if yesterday was tomorrow today would have been Saturday? ›

"Today" would have been Saturday, meaning the "yesterday" of "today" in assumption would have been Friday. Since in reality, "yesterday" is actually tomorrow. Meaning tomorrow is actually Friday. It means the teacher made the statement on a Thursday.

What is the answer to the riddle if yesterday was tomorrow today would be Friday? ›

If yesterday were tomorrow, then today would be Friday. What day is today? Explanation: If yesterday were tomorrow, today is Friday => tomorrow of friday is Saturday.

What does tomorrow mean in the Bible? ›

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Morrow, Tomorrow

MORROW, TOMORROW. mor'-o, too-mor'-o: Two words are used in the Old Testament in this meaning: boqer, which properly means "dawn," or "morning," and machar, properly the same, but used for the next morning and hence, "tomorrow," like the German morgen.

Who first said tomorrow is another day? ›

After all, tomorrow is another day. These words, Scarlett's personal motto, conclude Gone with the Wind. Scarlett repeats some variation of this line several times over the course of the novel when hardships plague her.

Who said tomorrow is another day? ›

This is the iconic final line of the book Gone with the Wind. It's also the final line of the film adaptation (directed by Victor Fleming, 1939) spoken by Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh.

What are 5 examples of future? ›

Examples of the simple future tense in affirmative sentences
  • The birds will eat these grains in the morning.
  • My father will teach me how to drive a car next month.
  • We shall go to the picnic tomorrow by bus.
  • I shall be sixteen next Tuesday.
  • They will come back from their tour this evening.

What are future dates? ›

Definitions of future date. a particular day in the future that is specified as the time something will happen.

What does future mean in time? ›

noun. 1. : time that is to come. : what is going to happen.

What are 3 examples of simple future? ›

To see: simple future tense
He will seeHe won't seeWill he see?
We will seeWe won't seeWill we see?
*We shall see*Shall we see?
They will seeThey won't seeWill they see?
3 more rows

What are pure future examples? ›

This is often called the “pure” future: “I'll be back later tonight – don't bother making me dinner.” “I'm busy right now – I'll call you tomorrow.” We also use “will” to talk about what we think will happen in the future.

What are three future perfect examples? ›

  • I will have been here for six months on June 23rd.
  • By the time you read this I will have left.
  • You will have finished your report by this time next week.
  • Won't they have arrived by 5:00?
  • Will you have eaten when I pick you up?

What will happen in the future 2030? ›

The world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion people by 2030. India will overtake China as the most populated country on Earth. Nigeria will overtake the US as the third most populous country in the world. The fastest-growing demographic will be the elderly: 65+ people will hit one billion by 2030.

How can I know what will happen in my future? ›

10 Questions That Will Help You Discover Your Future
  1. What do you feel you do well? ...
  2. What challenges you in life? ...
  3. What do you like to do for fun? ...
  4. Who are the role models you look up to? ...
  5. What's at the top of your bucket list? ...
  6. What accomplishment has made you most proud? ...
  7. What's your favorite class or subject to study?

What will life be like 200 years from now? ›

The world will run on systems, sensors, cameras, artificial intelligence, and autonomous infrastructure. Globally we will see a level of collaboration between governments that we do not see today. And, it will be about planning for greater population movement and wealth distribution.

What are future plans? ›

Future or anticipatory planning means making longer-term plans for a cared-for individual for when you can no longer provide care because of: illness. old age. a change in circ*mstances.

What date is back to the future in the future? ›

Fox, along with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, and Jennifer Parker, played by Elisabeth Shue, travel to the future in Doc's DeLorean to save Marty and Jennifer's future children. The date they travel to is Oct. 21, 2015, the date which would become the first "Back to the Future" Day.

What are dates of existence? ›

Existence dates record the start and end dates of the existence of the entity being described. For people, this would include dates of birth and death; for organisations, dates of establishment, incorporation and dissolution; and for projects, commencement and completion dates.

Why is the future important? ›

1. Helps us make more prudent decisions. Perhaps one of the most fundamental and important functions of prospection is that it helps us decide how to act: Thinking about what the future likely holds helps us decide what course to take in the here-and-now.

What do we call the future? ›

finality. hereafter. by-and-by. posterity. eventuality.

What is 2050 in real time? ›

Military Time 2050 is: 08:50 PM using 12-hour clock notation, 20:50 using 24-hour clock notation.


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