Future Simple vs. Future Continuous

There are similarities and differences between future simple and future continuous, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

What is Their Main Difference?

While the two tend to talk about the future but future simple tends to talk about future actions in order while future continuous talks about multiple actions happening at the same time in the future.

Uses and Comparison

1. Future Plans and Decisions

We use future simple tense to talk about our future plans and decisions we make.

She will watch a movie this weekend.

Here, we are talking about a future plan.

She will be watching a movie this weekend.

When we are talking about a plan, we are not certain about it. This sentence is incorrect.

Once I leave, I will shut the door.

Here, we are talking about decisions for the future.

Once I leave, I will be shutting the door.

When we are talking about a decision, we are not certain about it actually happening. This sentence is incorrect.

2. Multiple Actions

We use present continuous tense to talk about multiple actions that will happen at the same time in the future.

Tomorrow morning, we will be taking a different route and we will be trying to find new tourist attractions.

Here, we are talking about multiple actions that will be occurring at the same time in the future,

Tomorrow morning, we will take a different route and we will try to find new tourist attractions.

We are aiming to talk about actions that will be happening simultaneously while this example just names them.

I will be leaving and I will be trying not to forget to lock the door.

Here, the speaker talks about two actions that will be happening at the same time.

I will leave and I will try not to forget to lock the door.

Since we are not intending to name actions in order, this sentence is incorrect.

3. Future Predictions

Have you ever visited an oracle or a fortune teller to tell you about your future? We use future simple to guess and predict future events.

You will meet a man who changes your life path.

You will be meeting a man who changes your life path.

Here, we eliminated the doubt and therefore it is not a prediction.

I will probably meet her again tomorrow.

I will probably be meeting her again tomorrow.

Here, we eliminated the doubt and therefore it is not a guess.

4. Actions in Progress

We use future continuous tense to talk about an in-progress future action that happens at the same time with another shorter action at a specific time.

I will be waiting for you to arrive.

I will wait for you to arrive.

Here, we are talking about a plan.

He is going to be sleeping when you get home.

He will sleep when you get home.

Here, we are talking about an action that will happen after the first action.

5. Making Promises

We can also use future simple to make many promises. Have a look:

I swear I will keep your secrets.

Here, we have a very common promise.

I swear I will be keeping your secrets.

No promises are given here, instead it tends to talk about a future action that will be done.

I will check the door as soon as I'm done.

Here, we are making a promise.

I will be checking the door as soon as I'm done.

Here, we are not making any promises, but just talking about a future action that will happen.

6. Suggested Sentences

Lastly, we use simple future tense to make suggestions about the world around us.

Will you turn off the heater?

Here, we are making a suggestive sentence.

Will you be turning off the heater?

This sentence does not make any suggestion therefore it is incorrect.

Will you do me a favor?

Here, we are making a suggestion.

Will you be doing me a favor?

This sentence does not make any suggestion therefore it is incorrect.

Structure

Now that we tackled the uses and comparison, we will talk about the structure of the two verb tenses.

1. Future Simple Tense

In order to create this tense, we tend to add 'will' to the subject at the beginning of the sentence, then the base form of the main verb. Have a look:

Kaz will buy her a new coat.

I will move out very soon.

2. Future Continuous Tense

To create this tense, we add 'will' to the auxiliary verb 'be' and the present participle of the main verb. Take a look at the table below:

Subject Will Be -ing Form
I will be running
She will be singing

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