Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you ever hear people talking about the future in English?

Have you ever wondered if there are specific ways to talk about things that will happen in the future?

There are the things that will happen immediately or right away, and then there are some things that will happen further into the future.

Today we are looking at the different phrases that you can use to talk about things that are going to happen in the immediate future.

This is our newest series, and this is a great way to jumping into talking about the future.

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A Little Background

Native speakers aren’t always formal with future tense, using will or going to.

Instead of more common phrases like “It will happen very soon” or “This is going to take place right away”, there are many native phrases to refer to the future.

In this new series, we’ll teach you the most popular phrases in this area and how to use them properly.

We use different expressions to refer to what will happen very soon than those which we use for events that will take place further in the future.

In this series, we’re dividing phrases into those used for the immediate future, the near future and the distant future.

There’s a big distinction here, and it’s important to recognize that when you are talking about things that will happen or have yet to happen.

It’s important you use phrases that are appropriate for the correct time, or you can cause confusion and misunderstandings.

Today’s phrases are talking about the immediate future, and that’s what we are focusing on here.

You will want to use these to sound like a native when talking about something that will happen very soon.

Remember that distinction that these are the things that will happen in the nearest future, and that’s what you want to focus on.

This comes up often as you may be making future plans or waiting on something that you anticipate will happen soon.

Different Phrases To Use In Talking About The Immediate Future

There are a few different phrases that you can use when it comes to talking about the immediate future.

All of these can be a great way to discuss what is going to happen soon, or what you are waiting for in the near future.

In this example, we are talking about the idea of promoting something.

We can take this as an example where we at AEE are trying to promote something that is coming up very soon in the near future.

1. It could happen any minute: You can use this phrase to say that an event is going to happen very soon, but the exact time is not known. This may be a slight exaggeration, but it means that whatever you are waiting for could happen very soon. You could say “I’m hoping to hear back about that job any minute!” Lindsay: “Has your washing machine repairman shown up yet?” Aubrey: “No, but I expect him any minute now.”

2. It will happen any day now / Any day now: This is also used for events that will happen very soon, but the exact time is not known. This isn’t necessarily as soon as the previous example, but you know that it’s coming in the very near future. You might hear “Her baby is due any day now.” You could say “Has your dad called you lately? No, but I expect him to any day now!” Aubrey: “When will your passport come in the mail?” Lindsay: “Any day now!”

3. It’s just around the corner / It’s right around the corner: This is another way to talk about the near future, though it’s not something that you are waiting on to happen immediately. You may use this to talk about something that will happen soon and you do know exactly when it will be. An example is a holiday, a birthday, or some sort of planned special event. You could say “Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!” Lindsay: “This year is flying by. It’s almost Spring!” Aubrey: “I know! It’s right around the corner!”

4. I’ll get right on it: This is usually used for urgent tasks and means you’ll do it right away or very soon. You can use it to say that you will do something as soon as possible. It shows a sense of urgency for something that will be an issue very soon. You could say something like “I just realized my essay is due in class today, so I’m gonna get right on it.” Lindsay: “We need this quarter’s numbers for the meeting this afternoon.” Aubrey: “I’ll get right on it!”

Conversation Questions and Activity

It can always be so helpful to use things in conversation so that you really master it and get the hang of it.

You will find that answering some conversation questions can be very helpful to get you into the right mindset and really see how this works.

Try to answer these questions using each of the three phrases above.

This is a helpful activity that can show you how each would work in conversation when you are trying to answer a direct question.

Try these out on your own to get in some helpful practice, and then you can use them to get a conversation going too.

1. What’s something that you’re planning to accomplish today?

2. What is a change at AEE that’s coming up?

3. What plans do you have for this weekend?

4. What’s something you’re looking forward to?

These are great conversation starters, and they may lead to great connections too.

We all like to talk about the future, and this is a great way to do so.


These expressions will make you sound like a native when you’re talking about the near future.

Instead of more common phrases that can be a little formal, spice it up with one of these native phrases for a fun twist.

This can give you confidence to make connections in English, as you know you’re talking about the future the way that natives do.

When you talk about the near future, these work well and this is bound to come up often in conversation.

Try them out and see just how natural they feel, and they can tell you the timing of something with all the right words.

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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