Teens|Grammar activating|Pre-Int|4. The future begins today

School marks

How are things at school?


Match the sentences to the pictures

Say which of the predictions have come true

  • People can travel by air, but not with the help of the wings — we fly by planes.
  • We can stay underwater for a long time, but we don’t have underwater buses.

The words of future

pic1_gepre-intu14 pic2_gepre-intu14

Match the words to the definitions



Listen and complete the dialogue with will / may / might/ won’t

Dr Lanfear | Interviewer

Dr Lanfear: Good evening.
Interviewer: Good evening. Well, one popular theme in science fiction books and films is contacting alien life forms. Do you think we will ever meet aliens?
Dr Lanfear: This is difficult to answer. The universe is so big, and it’s hard to imagine we, humans, are the only life in it, so, well, there’s a possibility. We may meet some one day, but I doubt we will for a very long time.
Interviewer: And what about space travel in general? Do you think, for example, we will land on another planet?
Dr Lanfear: Oh yes, we certainly will, but again not for a long time.
Interviewer: And what about living in space? We’ve already built space stations which orbit the Earth, but do you think we will build space colonies, whole cities in space?
Dr Lanfear: It sounds unlikely, but yes, I’m sure we will one day. In fact, scientists from NASA already designed a colony.
Interviewer: So that’s a fact. Now back to fiction, maybe. Another feature of science-fiction books and films is that rockets will travel great distances to other star systems, but to do that we must travel at great speeds. Do you think we will ever travel at the speed of light, that is 300.000 kilometres per second?
Dr Lanfear: Oh no, we won’t. It’s quite impossible. We couldn’t and therefore to travel great distances we will have to think of other ways.
Interviewer: Do you think we will ever use suspended animation?
Dr Lanfear: Well, we have made some progress with this idea. We have frozen dead bodies, but the idea that we might freeze living people who wake up at some future time is still in its early stages. We might one day.
Interviewer: Dr Lanfear, thank you very much.
Dr Lanfear: Thank you.

I — Interviewer | D — Dr Lanfear

Plans and predictions

Match the meaning with the construction


Make sentences about the future using the constructions

  • We’re going to…
  • I don’t think we will…
  • People might…
  • I guess, we may…
  • We will probably…
  • build colonies in space.
  • play sports in space.
  • have a war with aliens.
  • go on holidays in space.
  • open parks on the Moon.
  • grow food in space.
  • use suspended animation.
  • travel at the speed of light.

Space colony


Read the text, then match the title with the paragraph number

My Space Colony

by Nebula Brown. Class 6C. 20th February, 2050.

Paragraph 1

I live on Lunar Taurus 12. The colony is like a giant wheel. Rockets arrive and leave from the spaceport in the centre. This is connected by monorails to the wheel where we live. The monorails are very quick and it doesn’t take very long to travel anywhere in the colony.

Paragraph 2

In the spaceport there is a sports centre. I go there twice a week after school. My favourite game is space volleyball. There is no gravity at the centre of the wheel, so you can hit the ball under the net and bounce it off the ceiling!

Paragraph 3

10,000 people live in our colony on the inside of the wheel. The wheel turns and this creates artificial gravity. Giant mirrors direct sunlight on to the wheel and we have forests, fields and rivers. There’s even an artificial beach with a wave-machine, so you can go swimming and surfing.

Paragraph 4

All our food is grown in the colony. Vegetables are grown on special farms — all the people on the colony are vegetarians. There are also lots of factories. Rockets bring minerals from the Moon and we manufacture everything here from telephones to toothpaste. There’s a big factory where rockets are repaired — my father works there.

Paragraph 5

Nothing in the colony is wasted, of course, everything is recycled. It is incredible to think that fifty years ago on Earth, people destroyed and threw away so many things!

The Martian

Read the film review and watch the trailer

During a space mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is lost after a storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself alone on Mars. With almost no food, he will have to survive and find a way to contact Earth.

Discuss the questions

1. Why did NASA stop the mission?
2. What is Mark going to do to survive?
3. Do you think he will survive?
4. Will he meet aliens?
5. Will he be saved in the end and return to Earth?

What you can do


Now you can:

1. talk about space and future;
2. use be going to V, will V, may / might V while speaking about the future.


1. galaxy 5. speed of light 9. planet
2. spacesuit 6. space colony 10. gravity
3. solar system 7. alien 11. orbit
4. astronaut 8. suspended animation 12. spacecraft

Grammar reference

Be going to


We use be going to + the infinitive to ask and talk about plans and intentions.

I‘m going to play basketball tomorrow.
What are you going to do at the weekend?

We can also use be going to to predict the future because of what we see or what is happening now.

That bus is too tall. It‘s going to crash into the bridge.
«It’s six o’clock. We’re too late. We aren’t going to catch the train.»

Note: we can form the negative in two ways.

We aren’t going to catch the train.
We‘re not going to catch the train.

Will or going to?


We use will when we make a decision at the moment of speaking.

«Look at your shoes! They’re really dirty.»
«I’m sorry. I‘ll clean them.»

We use going to when we have already decided to do something.

«Your shoes are dirty.» «Yes, I know. I‘m going to clean them now.»


We use will to predict what we think or guess will happen.

I think it will rain tomorrow.

We use going to when we know what will happen because of something we can see.

Look at those dark clouds! It‘s going to rain.

Will it happen?

Fill in the gaps with will, may, might, won’t


will — sure, definitely
may/might — probably
won’t — impossible

Plan or prediction?

Write sentences using the prompts

We use «be going to + V» to speak about plans. The spaceship is going to travel to the Moon.
We use «will / may / might + V» to make predictions The mission will / may / might be dangerous.

Cosmonaut for a day

Read the article and choose if the statements are True or False

Cosmonaut for a day

Max Dereta, a photographer, investigates Star City, the Russian Space Training Centre in Moscow

In a few years time, there might be probably organised holidays to space. But now, if you have money, you can be a cosmonaut for two days. I decide to go along to Russia’s Star City. First, I go into the simulator of a space capsule where you can practise space flight. It is hard to imagine how three cosmonauts can fit into this tiny capsule — and eat, sleep and visit the toilet! The space capsule is used to take cosmonauts to and from the space station.

The next place I see is the swimming pool, where you can practise doing things in a situation 90 % similar to zero gravity. After that I try the simulator of a spacewalker, a rocket-powered backpack. After a quarter of an hour I get the idea of moving with the backpack. Then I go to the space station simulator.

This is used to prepare cosmonauts for visits to the space station. The Russians have found that the worst problem of living in space is returning to gravity again. In the space station simulator cosmonauts have to exercise for up to six hours a day to get ready for returning. Finally, I get the chance to experience weightless conditions. A Russian aeroplane simulates zero gravity for about 25 seconds at a time. «Get ready,» says a voice and we rise from the floor, weightless. We float all over the plane, and I take pictures. «Twenty-five seconds. Get down.» We repeat this ten times and it is absolutely fantastic. I haven’t been to space yet, but this is the next best thing!

Space facts

Listen and match the facts with the years

Well, the ‘space race’ started in the 1950s — between the United States and Russia. Russia sent the first satellite into space on the 4th of October 1957 and the first living creature into space on the 3rd of November 1957 — it was a dog called Laika. She was the first creature to die in space. The Russians were the first to send people into space too. The cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev was going to go, but he broke his leg. So the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin on the 12th of April 1961. The first American in space was Alan Shepard, three weeks after Gagarin.

The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova on the 16th of June 1963. The first American woman was Sally Ride in 1983, twenty years later. On the 20th of July 1969, the American, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.

The first space station was the American Skylab in the 1970s — but it was not a great success. The Russian MIR station has been more successful and has taught us a lot about living conditions in space.

Both the Americans and Russians have sent out spaceprobes, space ships with no people on them. These have explored other planets and have even left the solar system. In 1997 an American spaceprobe, called the Mars Pathfinder, landed on the surface of Mars to explore it.

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Future explorations

How will people explore space in the future?

1. Where are people going to travel?
2. Will people invent new ways of travelling? Will they be faster?
3. What are they going to do on other planets?
4. What or who might they find there?
5. Are people going to establish colonies? What will colonies look like?
6. What problems may people have while exploring space?

Write an essay about the space exploration. Write 100-120 words


1. galaxy 7. astronaut 13. discover
2. planet 8. speed of light 14. land
3. orbit 9. space colony 15. create
4. gravity 10. alien 16. science
5. spacesuit 11. spacecraft 17. space travel
6. solar system 12. spaceship 18. scientist


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