Future Time Clauses

This is a lesson and interactive test relating to the topic of future time clauses in English grammar. It is part of a complete lesson about future forms. The exercises for this topic are here. This lesson and test are part of a complete intermediate English course. There is a classroom presentation version of this lesson in the “Materials” tab above.

What are Future Time Clauses?

A future time clause is a grammatical structure used in sentences to express a condition or event that will happen in the future. It usually begins with words like “when,” “as soon as,” or “until,” and it indicates the timing or condition that must be met for the main action in the sentence to occur.

This type of word is called a subordinating conjunction. Here are some examples of more subordinating conjunctions.

  • When
  • As soon as
  • Before
  • After
  • Until
  • While
  • Once
  • As long as
  • Whenever
  • By the time
  • The moment
  • In case
  • Every time
  • Provided that
  • Even if
  • In the event that
  • Unless

When we use this type of word to talk about the future, we use often present forms in the part of the sentence (the clause) that contains this word.

Have a look at the following examples.

I will call you when I arrive.

We won’t eat until john gets here.

I’ll call you before I leave.

All of the examples so far use the present simple after the future time clause, but you can use other present tenses. The following examples use the present continuous and the present perfect after the future time clause.

I’ll tell you when I’ve finished.

I won’t be able to do that while I am working.

Future Time Clauses in First Conditional Sentences.

You might recognise this form from the first conditional sentences. In a first conditional sentence, one of the clauses has a future time clause. This is usually an “if” or “unless” followed by a present tense.

I won’t go to the party unless you come with me

If I go to the shop, I will buy some milk.

If you want to read more about or practise using the first conditional, you can find a complete lesson about it here.

More Examples of Future Time Clauses

Here are some more examples of future time clauses, pay attention to the form of the verb following the subordinate conjunction.

  • When: When I finish my work, we can go out for dinner.
  • As soon as: I’ll call you as soon as I arrive at the airport.
  • Before: We should pack our bags before we leave for the trip.
  • After: I’ll start cooking after you return from the grocery store.
  • Until: We’ll wait here until the rain stops.
  • While: I’ll read a book while you watch your favorite TV show.
  • Once: We can go for a walk once the rain stops.
  • As long as: You can borrow my car as long as you fill up the gas tank.
  • Whenever: Feel free to call me whenever you need assistance.
  • By the time: By the time you finish reading this, I’ll have completed my workout.
  • The moment: I’ll let you know the moment I receive the email.
  • In case: Bring an umbrella in case it rains during the picnic.
  • Now that: Now that the exams are over, we can plan a weekend getaway.
  • Every time: Every time I visit the city, I explore new places.
  • As: I’ll join the meeting as soon as I complete this task.
  • As far as: As far as I know, the event starts at 7 PM.
  • As if: She smiled as if she had won the lottery.
  • As though: He acted as though he had never met her before.
  • Provided that: You can borrow my bike provided that you return it by tomorrow.
  • Even if: I’ll attend the party even if I’m feeling a bit tired.
  • In the event that: Have a backup plan in the event that the first one fails.
  • Unless: We’ll cancel the picnic unless the weather improves.


Do you think that you’ve got it? Check your comprehension with the interactive quiz below.

Use the numbered buttons to navigate between the questions. When you have completed all of the questions, click “finish” to see your results. Click “view questions” to see your answers and the solutions.