Firstly sorry for my bad English.

I'm translating an article about wearable smart watches. But what does what lies ahead mean in the following context?

There is no shortage of wearable gear out there, and really what I’m writing about here is the latest crop of smartwatches, most of which run on Android Wear. In the grand scheme, I know it is but a portion of what many of us may use, be it Jawbone’s UP, or Fitbit, or Samsung’s Tizen powered Galaxy Gear, and for me, it really comes down to a single issue. As I thought about that single issue though, I examined other factors that leave me feeling pensive about what lies ahead.

2 Answers 2


"what lies ahead" is a term that means "in the future." It is primarily used for figurative things like social implications, technological advancement, or other general "future stuff" -- but if you're on a road trip, it may indeed include more literal things like mountains, rivers, swamps, cities, etc., that you will need to navigate through.


This is one of those questions that would vex a learner if you tried to parse lies ahead as two words instead of one phrase.

Apparently, it's only listed in a couple dictionaries. NOAD simply defines it as:

lie ahead (phrasal verb) be going to happen; be in store : I'm excited by what lies ahead.

However, Macmillan's definition suggests it can be used in somewhat ominous situations, as a way of foreshadowing difficult circumstances on the horizon:

lie ahead (phrasal verb) if something lies ahead, especially something difficult or unpleasant, it is going to happen in the future and you will have to deal with it

In the usage you quote, though, I think pensive is a more neutral word, not one that conveys uneasiness.

  • These usages are similar to the phrases "the road ahead" and "The Road to Serfdom".
    – Jasper
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 4:28

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