English grammar – Future continuous

Form

will be + verb + present participle (-ing form of the verb)

NOTE – There is no future tense in English. Instead we use a variety of forms to talk about the future. WILL (in this case with be + present participle) is one of those forms. In many student grammars (and here!) this form is referred to as future continuous for convenient comparison with similar continuous/progressive forms in the present and past. See this post about tense and aspect.

Meaning

  1. Future continuous is used to say that an action will be in progress at a specific time in the future.
    • This time on Thursday I’ll be flying to Thailand.
    • In two hours she’ll be leaving work.
  2. Future continuous is used to predict the present.
    • Don’t call him now, he’ll be sleeping.
  3. Future continuous is used to make polite enquiries about someone’s plans (without wishing to influence those plans).
    • Will you be watching TV this evening? (You simply want to know if the TV will be free)

Related grammar points

Future perfect
Will and Going to
Tense and aspect

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