Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Do you have something that you are planning for in the future?

Do you want to discuss future plans in English but feel unsure how to communicate things that will occur in the near future?

There are many things that we plan for, and knowing how to talk about the future in this way is important.

Today we are talking about things that will occur in the future, but not the immediate future nor in the distant future.

These are the things that you plan for, and that you will likely talk about often in conversation.

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Talking About Things That Will Happen Somewhat Soon

There are various events that you can talk about happening in the future.

What we are focused on today are the events that will happen soon, but not in the immediate future.

Consider this to be almost the middle of the road, where you know that something will happen but it’s not right away but it’s also not far into the future either.

Native speakers aren’t always formal with future tense, using “will” or “going to” as their most common options.

That’s what you may hear from natives rather than more common phrases like “It will happen very soon” or “This is going to take place right away.”

There are actually several phrases that refer to the future in this way, and it can be good to know what they are.

In the previous episode of this series, we shared expressions to talk about the immediate future.

Today’s native phrases are for the near future—which are the things that aren’t as immediate but are going to happen and you are planning for them.

This is something that is likely to come up in conversation quite a bit, as you are making plans or planned around an upcoming event or thing to occur.

So these are the phrases that you want to know well and practice using so that you can be a part of the conversation and even of the planning process too.

The Best Ways To Talk About Something That Will Happen Soon

So with these phrases, we are talking about the things that will happen soon but not immediately.

You may have plans for this event or you may know that it is coming, but it’s not going to be right away.

This is an important thing to talk about, and so you will find these phrases to be very useful.

1. In the near future: This is talking about something that will happen soon, but you just don’t know exactly when. This may be something that will occur in a few weeks or months in the future. You could say “We’re planning to get a dog in the near future.”

2. A sign of things to come/ a taste of things to come: This is used to indicate how things will be in the future. Often a brief experience that will likely be repeated, and so you want to talk about it as such. This is something that you can count on or that you may have experienced it before. When you hear “A sign of things to come” it may have a sort of negative connotation. You might say something like “So many people are losing their jobs. It’s a sign of things to come.” At the other end of this, you may use the phrase “A taste of things to come” as this can have either a positive or negative connotation. In this instance you may say something like “That storm was a taste of things to come.” Another way you may use it would be to say “This appetizer is a taste of things to come.” You may also say “The fireworks at the start of this party were just a taste of things to come!”

3. Counting the days until/ counting down the days until: This phrase is used when you’re anxiously awaiting a future event and you want it to happen soon. You are excited about it and so you can’t wait until it occurs. You could say “I’m counting the days until spring break!” You may hear something like “We’re counting down the days until our trip to NYC!”

All of these phrases help you to convey something that you are planning for in the future.

Though it may not be occurring tomorrow, it’s something that you are planning for or looking forward to in the future.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Aubrey are talking about their plans to go skiing.

Aubrey: “Do you have any fun plans for the near future?”

Lindsay: “Yes! We’re going skiing in a couple of weeks, and I’m counting the days until our trip.”

Aubrey: “Fun! Where do you usually go?”

Lindsay: “Colorado has great snow- some of the best resorts in the world are a 30 min drive from my house!”

Aubrey: “I skied when I was younger, but haven’t been in a long time.”

Lindsay: “Why not?” Aubrey: “I wrecked pretty badly and was injured and it felt like a sign of things to come.”


These are great phrases to add interest to the way you talk about the future.

Instead of saying you’ll do something “soon” or “in the future,” you can use one of these native phrases.

This can help you make connections in English, as you’re using a less formal, more native way to refer to future events.

There are always things planned or events occurring in the future, and now this gives you a way to talk about it.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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