Using the Future Continuous Tense

In this section we'll look at the uses of the future continuous tense, which is also called the future progressive. Don't worry there are plenty of examples to help make everything clear.

[Note: Click here to learn how to form  the future continuous.]


Use #1:  Describe continuous actions in the future

We use the future continuous to talk about ongoing  actions and events we expect to happen at a future time. Note: If the action is already in progress, we usually use "still" in the sentence.

Examples:  

  • At this time next week we will be flying to Cancun.
  • We won't be staying with my parents this time. We'll be renting a condo for the week.
  • I can't go out tonight. I'll still be working on my paper this afternoon.
  • When he's in his 50s, he'll still be dreaming of winning the lottery.
  • Will you be seeing Pablo at school tomorrow?
  • My father will be resting this afternoon so let's go out.
  • I'll be praying every day for your speedy recovery.
  • I won't be practicing tennis until my knee has completely healed.

Use #2:  Make guesses about future actions

We can use the future continuous to make guesses about what may be happening in the present or in the future.

Examples:  

  • I'm sure my sister will be dating a new guy by next week.
  • John thinks he won't be coming to the conference but he will let us know next week.
  • You won't be getting into any colleges with these grades.
  • It's snowing heavily now. Our guests won't be arriving on time.
  • I have a feeling she will be getting engaged during her vacation.
  • My boss will be reading the report tomorrow when he's on the plane.
  • I'm sure the sun will be shining in San Diego next week. It's always sunny there.

Use #2:  Make guesses about actions happening now

With this usage, we are not actually talking about the future—we’re talking about the present. We are making a guess or assumption about what is happening right now:

Examples:

  • I’ll call my sister tomorrow since it’s late. She’ll be sleeping now.
  • Let’s get to the zoo. They’ll be feeding the animals now and we don’t want to miss it.
  • I don’t want to disturb my boss. He’ll be rushing the finish the report at this time.
  • Send your father an SMS. He’ll be arriving at the hotel now.
  • Could you turn on the TV? They’ll be showing the match now.


Use #3:  Ask polite questions 

The  future continuous can be used to ask questions in a polite  and indirect  manner when we want to know what someone's plans are.

Examples:  

  • Excuse me.  Will you be using this chair? ( = If you're not using it, may I take it?)
  • Will you be having dessert? ( = would you like to order dessert?)
  • Will you be going to the store today? ( = if so, I'd like you to get something for me.)
  • Will you be making a lot of photocopies? ( = if so, may I use the machine before you?)
  • Will you be working this evening?
  • How long will you be staying with us this time?
  • How will you be paying for your hotel stay?


Forming the future continuous tense

Click here to learn how to form  the future continuous tense. Positive and negative forms, questions and spelling changes are all reviewed.

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