Future Continuous Tense in English Grammar

Future Continuous Tense in English Grammar

The future continuous tense is used by native English speakers quite often and this is your chance to learn and understand this tense and to start to use it.

Future Continuous Tense in English Grammar

Future Continuous

The future continuous tense (also called future progressive) is often used in English as a way to talk about an action or event happening at a given point in the future. It indicates that something will occur in the future and continue for an expected length of time.

Future Continuous: Structure

We form the future continuous with the modal verb 'will', the auxiliary verb 'be' and the present participle of the main verb. For the auxiliary verb 'be' we use its present forms am, are and is:

Subject Will be -ing form
I will be studying
He will be working

Future Continuous: Negation

For negative sentences we put 'not' between not between the modal verb 'will' and the auxiliary verb 'be':

She will be using the car . → She will not be using the car .

We will be having dinner . → We will not be having dinner .

When we use the future continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and will:

I will be studying . → I'll be studying .

In negative sentences, you can contract 'will not' as won't, like this:

I will not be sleeping . → I won't be sleeping .

Future Continuous: Questions

For yes/no question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future continuous tense:

He will be playing football . → Will he be playing football ?

For wh- question sentences, do the exact thing you do for yes/no questions and add the proper wh- question word at the beginning of the sentence and omit the part that is the answer.

He will be cooking dinner this evening . → When will he be cooking dinner ?

Present Participle: Spelling Rules

We make the Present Participle by adding -ing to the verb. Normally we just add -ing. But sometimes we have to change the word a little. Here are the rules to help you know how to spell the Present Participle:

  • If the verb ends in consonant + stressed vowel + consonant, double the last letter.

stop → stopping

run → running

  • If the verb ends in consonant + unstressed vowel + consonant, (the base verb is not stressed) do not double the last letter..

open → opening

  • If the verb ends in 'ie', change the 'ie' to 'y'.

lie → lying

die → dying

  • If the verb ends in vowel + consonant + 'e', omit the 'e'.

come → coming

mistake → mistaking

Future Continuous: Uses

When someone uses the future continuous, they are thinking about:

Ongoing Actions in the Future

  • We use the future continuous tense to talk about an unfinished action that will be in progress at a time later than now.

At 4 p . m . tomorrow , I will be working .

They won't be watching TV at 9 p . m . tonight .

  • We use the future continuous to talk about an action in progress in the future which is interrupted by a shorter action.

I'll be waiting for you when you get back .

  • We use the future continuous tense to project ourselves into the future.

By Christmas Jane and I will be moving in our new home .

This time next month I will be living in Madrid .

  • We use the future continuous with 'still', to talk about events that are already happening now and that we expect to continue some time into the future.

In one year he'll still be living in a dormitory .

Sadly , prices will still be rising in years to come .

Predictions about Future

  • We use the future continuous tense to predict or guess about future events.

I expect that she'll be visiting them in Peru .

You'll be feeling hungry after gardening all day , I guess .

  • We can use the future continuous to talk about continuous events that we expect to happen in the future.

I'll be visiting Paul at the party next week .

When James is in Germany , he will be staying in a hotel .

Changes

  • We use the future continuous to talk about future actions that we see as new, different or temporary.

They're taking the bus today , but tomorrow they'll be taking the train .

I'll be visiting my parents while I travel to Germany .

Fixed Arrangements

  • We use the future continuous to talk about arrangements, often as a reminder or warning.

We'll be leaving at 12 : 00 . Don't be late !

Polite Enquiries

  • We use the future continuous in the interrogative form to make polite enquiries about someone’s plans for the future.

Will Jim be coming with us ?

Will you be bringing your boyfriend to the party at Jim's tonight ?

When Not to Use Future Continuous Tense

We do not normally use the continuous tense with stative verbs (also called non-continuous verbs). Action verbs describe activities like running, thinking, and seeing. Stative verbs describe states of existence, like being, seeming, and knowing.

When you see him tomorrow , he will seem (NOT will be seeming) like a different person .

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