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Future continuous – grammar

The future continuous is used to talk about an unfinished action or event that will be in progress at a time later than now.

Forming Future Continuous sentences

Future Continuous is formed using the construction will + be + the present participle (the root verb + -ing).

Contraction with Future Continuous

When we use the Future Continuous tense in speaking or informal writing, we often contract the subject and WILL:

In negative sentences, we often contract with won’t:

Using Future Continuous

The Future Continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the future. The action will have started before that moment, but it will not have finished at that moment. The listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about.

Examples:

  • I will be working at 9am tomorrow.
  • They won’t be sleeping at 10pm tonight.
  • What will you be doing when I get back?
  • Tom will be traveling back to school.
Future Simple x Future Continuous

Future Continuous can also be formed with „be going to“ using [am/is/are + going to be + present participle]

Examples:

  • We are going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight.
  • Are you going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight?
  • I am not going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight.

Using Future Continuous

Use 1 Interrupted Action in the Future

The Future Continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the future. The action will have started before that moment, but it will not have finished at that moment. The listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about.

Examples:

  • I will be working at 9am tomorrow.
  • They won’t be sleeping at 10pm tonight.
  • What will you be doing when I get back?

Future Continuous can also be formed with „be going to“ using [am/is/are + going to be + present participle]

Examples:

  • We are going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight.
  • Are you going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight?
  • I am not going to be waiting for her when she arrives tonight.

Use 1 Interrupted Action in the Future

We can use the future continuous to indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future. It can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.

Examples:

  • I will be studying when he arrives tonight.
  • I will be waiting for you when your flight arrives.
  • He is going to be staying at the Paris Plaza Hotel.

Use 2 Specific Time as an Interruption in the Future

In addition to using short actions as interruptions, we can also use a specific time as an interruption.

Examples:

  • I am going to be eating dinner at 7PM.
  • At 10PM tonight, I will still be driving home.

Use 3 Parallel Actions in the Future

We can use the future continuous with two actions in the same sentence indicating that both actions will be happening at the same time.

Examples:

  • I am going to be driving and he is going to be sleeping.
  • Tonight, we will be eating dinner and discussing our plans for the trip.

Use 4 Atmosphere in the Future

We can also use Future continuous to describe atmosphere at a specific point in the future.

Example:

  • When I arrive at the party, everybody is going to be celebrating his birthday. Some people will be dancing, while others are going to be talking.

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