Tenses

Future Continuous

We mainly use the Future Continuous (Progressive) to indicate that we will be in the middle of doing something in a specified time in the future. Also when we guess about the present, the future or when we ask polite questions about somebody's intention.

Subject + WILL + BE + Verb (continuous form)
  • Tomorrow at this time, I will be taking my English language exam.
  • Ben won't be eating the dinner now. He usually eats it around noon!
  • Will you be coming to the party tonight?

Use

  1. Future actions in progress
  2. Guesses about the present or the future
  3. The action or situation in the future which we think is natural
  4. Polite questions about somebody's intention
If you want to learn about somebody's intentions, you should always use the Future Continuous rather than the Present Simple.
Using the Future Simple implies that you want to influence somebody's decision. Questions become much more objective if formed in the Future Continuous. 

Compare:

  • Will you come home? (= I want you to come home.)
  • Will you be coming home? (= I just want to know.)

Use 1: Future Actions in Progress

The first use of the Future Continuous is to express future action in progress:

  • In an hour, I will be sitting in front of my TV.
  • In the evening, I will be baking a birthday cake.
  • Tomorrow at seven, we will be sitting on the plane to San Francisco.

Use 2: Guesses about the Present in the Future

Use this tense also to make guesses about something in the present or future:

  • He won't be coming any time soon. He is still at the office.
  • Beatrice will be getting married very soon.
  • They will be getting home just about now.

Use 3: The Action or Situation in the Future which We Think Is Natural

  • We will be seeing them soon.
  • You will be picking up children from school, won’t you?
  • The football team will be staying at the Chelsea Hotel. (as usually)

Use 4: Polite Questions about Somebody's Intentions

When we ask about somebody’s intentions thinking of doing a favour:

  • Will you be coming home before or after 10 p.m.?
  • Will you be going to the supermarket? I have something to buy.

A short conversation:

Person A: Will you be reading the newspaper?

Person B: No, I’ve read what I wanted.

Person A: Could I borrow it, then?

 Like any of the Future Tenses, Future Continuous cannot be used in sentences beginning with: while, when, before, by the time, if, etc.:
  • By the time, you will be finishing your paiting.

Tomorrow at this time, I will be getting bored at school! (Use 1: Future actions in progress) 

Form

Contracted forms

The Future Perfect appears in two forms: will form and going to form which can be used interchangably:
  • She will have finished means She is going to have finished.

Declarative Sentences

Subject

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Verb + ing

e.g. I/a dog etc.

will

be

e.g. working/going/making

 

Examples

Use (click to read)

She'll be having a bath when I'm back home.

1

Tomorrow at nine, I will be hosing off (=washing with a hose) my car).

1

This time next week, I am going to be throwing a party.

1

I'll be watching TV when my mother arrives.

1

They will be geting home just about now.

2

Questions

Auxiliary verb

+

Subject

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Verb + ing

?

will

I/you/we etc.

be

e.g. dancing /taking

 

Examples

Use (click to read)
Is she going to be cooking when we knock at the door? 1
Will Mark be playing football at 6 p.m? 1
Will you be using the screwdriver?  4

Negative Sentences

Subject

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Verb + ing

e.g. I/a dog etc.

will not

be

e.g. working/going/making

 

Examples

Use (click to read)
We won't be having supper tomorrow before 8 o'clock. 1
am not going to be learning English tomorrow at this time. 1
John won't be sleeping now (= I think John isn't sleeping now). 2

Check your understanding!