Unit 11.1

Wh- Questions in Future Form


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Introduction

Wh- questions always begin with one of the wh- question words (interrogative pronouns), which show what kind of information is wanted.

The wh- questions in the future tense are used to ask for information in the future.

Form

In the future tense (both simple and continuous), we use the future forms of the auxiliary and modal verbs.

There are two means we can use to ask about the future: will and to be going to.

Will

The structure of wh- questions in future form with will is:

  • Wh- question word + will + subject + verb (bare infinitive) + …?
  • What/who + will + verb (bare infinitive) + …?
  • Which/whose + noun + will + verb (bare infinitive) + …?

To be going to

The structure of wh- questions in future form with to be going to is:

  • Wh- question word + to be (present form) + subject + going to + verb (bare infinitive) + …?
  • What/who + to be (present form) + subject + going to + verb (bare infinitive) + …?
  • Which/whose + noun + to be (present form) + suject + going to + verb (bare infinitive) + …?

Example

Will:

  • When will you visit us?
  • What will happen now?
  • Who will arrive first?
  • Which car will win the race?
  • Whose project will win?

To be going to:

  • Where are you going to hang the picture?
  • What are you going to wear tonight?
  • Whom is she going to marry?
  • Which course are they going to attend?
  • Whose dog are we going to adopt?

Use

We use will to talk about:

  • immediate decisions;
  • predictions;
  • feelings.

We use to be going to to talk about:

  • previously decided plans;
  • future situations we have information about.

Summary

Wh-questions start with one of the wh- question words: what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why and how.

In the future we use them with the auxiliary will (for immediate decisions, predictions and feelings) and the phrase to be going to (for previously decided plans and future situations we have information about).

Their structures are:

  • wh- question word followed by will, subject and bare infinitive of the verb;
  • wh- question word followed by the present simple of to be, the subject,  going to and the bare infinitiveof the verb.

For example:
— “Where will she live?” = Where introduces an open question, because you can give an infinite number of answers.
♦ “Will she move to Spain next year?” = Yes/no questions require short answers followed by yes or no, they are also called closed questions.

NOTE: An auxiliary (be/have) or a modal verb (can/could/would) must be placed after a wh- question and before a subject.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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