The future continuous tense

The future continuous tenseThe future continuous tense. We have already looked at most of the future tenses in English in these lessons:

On this page, we will look at the future continuous tense. This tense talks about an action that either:

  1. will be in progress in the future and interrupted by a shorter activity (‘I will be waiting for you when you arrive’)
  2. will be in progress at a specific time in the future (‘At 7 p.m. I will be eating dinner’)

NOTE: for the second use, compare the future continuous with the future simple:

  • Future simple: At 7 p.m., I will call David. (This focuses specifically on when the speaker will start to eat dinner.)
  • Future continuous: At 7.05 p.m., I will be talking to David. (The speaker started the call before 7.05 p.m. and won’t finish until after 7.05 p.m.)

The structure of the future continuous is relatively simple: will + be + verb + ing

  • At 7 p.m., I will be eating dinner.
  • He will be working late tonight.

The question forms and negatives are formed like this:

  • Will I be eating dinner at 7pm?
  • He won’t be working late tonight.

The future continuous tense can also be expressed using ‘be going to be + ing’ instead of ‘will be +ing’ with no difference in meaning.

  • I will be working at home this afternoon. Correct
  • I am going to be working at home this afternoon.Correct

Remember that like all continuous tenses, the future continuous is not used with stative verbs.

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