Future Continuous

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    1 What is the Future Continuous Tense in English?

    The Future Continuous Tense is a verb form used in English to express an action that will be in progress at a specific time in the future. It is used to express future actions that will take place over a period of time or will be in progress at a specific point in the future.

    Unlike the Future Simple Tense, the emphasis here is on the action taking place over a period of time or happening at a specific moment in the future.

    For example:
    I will be studying for my exams next week. (I will be studying for my exams next week.)
    Next Monday at 5 am, I will be flying to Sweden. (Next Monday at 5 am, I will be in the process of flying to Sweden.)

    2 How to form the Future Continuous tense?

    The Future Continuous tense in English is formed using the modal verb “will”, the verb “be” and the main verb with the -ing suffix.
    For example:
    I will be studying. (I will be studying.)
    They will be waiting. (They will be waiting.)
    He will be cooking. (He will be cooking.)

    2.1 Positive Sentence Formation

    The positive form of the future continuous tense has the following structure:
    subject + will + be + present participle of the verb + rest of the sentence

    • I will be studying for my exams next week. – I will be in the middle of studying for my exams next week.
    • They will be waiting for the bus at the bus stop. – They will be in the middle of waiting for the bus at the bus stop.
    • He will be cooking dinner for us tonight. – He will be in the middle of cooking dinner for us tonight.

    2.2 Negative Sentence Formation

    When forming negative sentences, “not” is added after the modal verb will:
    subject + will + not + be + present participle of the verb + rest of the sentence

    • I will not be studying for my exams next week. – I will not be in the middle of studying for my exams next week.
    • They will not be waiting for the bus at the bus stop. – They will not be in the middle of waiting for the bus at the bus stop.
    • He will not be cooking dinner for us tonight. – He will not be in the middle of cooking dinner for us tonight.

    2.3 Question Formation

    When forming questions, the order of the modal verb “will” and the subject is changed as follows:
    will + subject + be + verb in -ing

    • Will I be studying for my exams next week? – Will I be in the middle of studying for my exams next week?
    • Will they be waiting for the bus at the bus stop? – Will they be in the middle of waiting for the bus at the bus stop?
    • Will he be cooking dinner for us tonight? – Will he be in the middle of cooking dinner for us tonight?

    3 Recap of Future Continuous formation

    • I will be studying all day.
    • I will not be studying all day.
    • Will you be studying all day?
    • She will be cooking dinner for us.
    • She will not be cooking dinner for us.
    • Will she be cooking dinner for us?
    • They will be traveling to Europe next month.
    • They will not be traveling to Europe next month.
    • Will they be traveling to Europe next month?
    • We will be throwing a party on Saturday.
    • We will not be throwing a party on Saturday.
    • Will we be throwing a party on Saturday?
    • The sun will be shining tomorrow.
    • The sun will not be shining tomorrow.
    • Will the sun be shining tomorrow?

    h3>4 Related grammatical phenomena

    In English, there are several ways to express future time. In addition to the future continuous tense, these include:

    4.1 Future Simple

    When we talk about an activity that will start and end in the future, and we haven’t planned it or it’s a spontaneous decision, we use the future simple. It is formed with the auxiliary verb “will” or “shall” and the base form of the verb.
    subject + will + base form of the verb + the rest of the sentence

    • I will finish the project on time. – I will finish the project on time.
    • They will visit us next week. – They will visit us next week.

    4.2 “Be going to” phrase

    To describe activities that we are planning to do, it is most appropriate to use “be going to”. This phrase consists of the verb “be” in the appropriate form and “going to”, which is the same for all persons.
    subject + appropriate form of the verb “be” + going to + base form of the verb + the rest of the sentence

    • I am going to visit my grandparents next month. – I am planning to visit my grandparents next month.
    • They are going to move to a new house next year. – They are planning to move to a new house next year.

    4.3 Present Continuous

    The future can also be expressed with the present continuous, when there is evidence that it is a planned event, not a spontaneous one.
    subject + to be in present form + base form of the verb + the rest of the sentence

    • I am meeting my friends at the park tomorrow. – I am meeting my friends at the park tomorrow.
    • They are having a party next weekend. – They are having a party next weekend.

    4.4 Present Simple Tense

    Future activities that are planned and most commonly found in a schedule are described using the Present Simple Tense.
    subject + full verb + rest of sentence

    • The train leaves at 5 o’clock. – The train leaves at 5 o’clock.
    • The movie starts at 8. – The movie starts at 8.

    The difference between these tenses lies in how future actions or events are expressed. For example, the present simple is used to express actions that are regularly repeating or are scheduled at a specific time in the future, while the future continuous is used to express an action that will be taking place at a specific moment in the future.

    Let’s illustrate the difference between them with the following examples:

    • Kate is working tomorrow. – Kate is working tomorrow.
    • Kate is going to work tomorrow. – Kate is going to work tomorrow. (Both are planned activities, will happen with 99% certainty.)
    • Kate will work tomorrow. – Kate will work tomorrow. (A current decision, the level of certainty can be determined only from the context).
    • When I get home tomorrow, Kate will be working tomorrow. – When I get home tomorrow, Kate will be working. (Either emphasizing that the activity will be taking place for a longer period of time, or that it will be taking place at the moment when an event occurs – when I get home tomorrow).
    • I am seeing my boss on Friday at 5.
    • I am going to see my boss on Friday at 5. (Pre-arranged, planned)
    • I will see my boss tomorrow on Friday at 5. (Just decided, not 100% certain it will happen).
    • I will be seeing my boss on Friday at 5. (On Friday at 5, I will be in the middle of the activity – meeting with the boss.)

    Are you interested in comparing it with other grammatical tenses? You can find more helpful tools here.

    5 State vs. Action Verbs

    When used with the future continuous tense, we typically use action verbs, not state verbs. As the name suggests, these verbs express a state and are not intended to express a continuous action or activity that will take place in the future.
    Therefore, it is not correct to say: I will be having the book in the evening. – I will have the book in the evening.

    An exception to this rule is in very polite questions, where verbs such as need or want may be used:

    • Will they be needing these documents on Friday? – Will they need these documents on Friday?
    • Will you be wanting to cancel the hotel reservation if you miss your flight? – Will you want to cancel the hotel reservation if you miss your flight?

    6 Practical example of the use of the future continuous tense (Future Continuous)

    Tomorrow at 10 AM, I will be running in a race. I can’t wait to stand at the starting line and take off on the course. During the race, I will be wearing my new running shoes that I bought last week. I believe they will help me perform better. On the way to the race, I will be warming up to be ready. When I finish, I will be feeling completely exhausted, but happy. I hope to have a good time and beat my personal record.
    Tomorrow at 10 AM, I will be running in a race. – The time indication tells us that an activity will be taking place at that time.
    During the race, I will be wearing my new running shoes that I bought last week. – I will be wearing them throughout the entire race, an activity that will take place for a long period of time.
    On the way to the race, I will be warming up to be ready. – While on the way to the race, I will be warming up and stretching – an activity that will also take place over a period of time.
    When I finish, I will be feeling completely exhausted, but happy. – The future continuous tense is used to emphasize the ongoing nature of the feeling at the time of finishing.

    7 Practicing the Future Tense

    In the following text, in addition to the future continuous tense, you can also practice other forms of expressing the future.
    sledujícím textu si kromě budoucího času průběhového můžete procvičit i další formy vyjádření budoucnosti.

    I _______________ (study) for my exams next week when you _______________ (call). I’m sorry, but I _______________ (not/be able) to talk at that time. While I _______________ (study), I _______________ (focus) on my notes and _______________ (try) to absorb as much information as possible. My goal is to get an A on every test.
    After I _______________ (finish) studying, I _______________ (relax) for a bit by watching a movie or reading a book. I _______________ (not/watch) TV or use my phone because I _______________ (want) to avoid distractions.
    At 8 PM, I _______________ (make) dinner for myself and my roommates. I _______________ (choose) a recipe that _______________ (be) healthy and delicious. While the food _______________ (cook), I _______________ (set) the table and _______________ (pour) some drinks.
    After dinner, I _______________ (do) the dishes and _______________ (clean) up the kitchen. Then, I _______________ (go) to bed early because I _______________ (want) to get a good night’s sleep. I _______________ (need) to be well-rested for my exams the next day.

    Key
    I will be studying for my exams next week when you call. I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to talk at that time. While I am studying, I will be focusing on my notes and trying to absorb as much information as possible. My goal is to get an A on every test.
    After I finish studying, I will relax for a bit by watching a movie or reading a book. I won’t watch TV or use my phone because I want to avoid distractions.
    At 8 PM, I will make dinner for myself and my roommates. I will choose a recipe that is healthy and delicious. While the food is cooking, I will set the table and pour some drinks.
    After dinner, I will do the dishes and clean up the kitchen. Then, I will go to bed early because I want to get a good night’s sleep. I need to be well-rested for my exams the next day.

    Explanation
    The future continuous tense is used to describe an action that will be taking place at a specific time in the future. It is formed by the auxiliary verb “will” or “shall” and the present participle of the main verb (i.e. the base form of the verb with the suffix “-ing”). In this exercise, the future continuous tense is used to describe actions that will be taking place simultaneously at different times in the future.

    8 A story using future tense

    Listen to the story with British pronunciation here:

    American pronunciation available here:

     

    Once upon a time, in a bustling city called New York, there lived a young man named Jack. Jack was an ambitious and hardworking person, always striving to achieve his goals and succeed in his career.

    One day, Jack will be walking home from work when he will notice a strange light in the sky. It will be a bright, shimmering ball of light that seems to be getting closer and closer. Jack will stare at it in amazement, not quite sure what to make of it.

    As the light will get closer, Jack will realize that it is actually a spaceship. And it will be heading straight towards him.

    Without hesitation, Jack will run as fast as he can to get out of the way. He will hear the spaceship coming closer and closer, the sound of its engines roaring in his ears.

    Just when Jack will think he will not make it, the spaceship will suddenly come to a stop in front of him. The door will open and out will step a group of aliens.

    Jack will be shocked and will stare at the aliens in disbelief. They will be tall, slender creatures with blue skin and big, almond-shaped eyes.

    “Greetings, Earthling,” one of the aliens will say in a strange, robotic voice. “We come in peace. We are the Zorgons, and we have been traveling the galaxy in search of intelligent life. And we have found it in you, Jack.”

    Jack will be too stunned to speak, and he will just stand there staring at the aliens.

    “We have observed your planet and have determined that you are the most advanced and intelligent species on it,” the alien will continue. “We would like to invite you to join us on a journey to explore the galaxy. Will you accept our invitation, Jack?”

    Jack will take a moment to collect his thoughts. He will be tempted by the offer, but he will also be hesitant.

    “I don’t know,” Jack will say. “I have a life here on Earth. I have a job and friends and family. I can’t just leave all that behind.”

    “We understand your hesitation,” the alien will say. “But think of the opportunities that await you out there in the vastness of space. You will be able to see and experience things that no human has ever seen before. And you will be helping us to further our knowledge and understanding of the universe. Won’t you at least consider it, Jack?”

    Jack will think about it for a moment, and then he will make his decision.

    “Alright,” Jack will say. “I will consider it. But I need some time to think it over. Can you come back in a week and I will give you my answer?”

    The aliens will agree to this and will say their goodbyes, promising to return in a week’s time.

    And so, Jack will spend the next week weighing the pros and cons of going on this journey. He will talk to his friends and family about it, and he will think long and hard about what he really wants in life.

    Finally, the day of the aliens’ return will arrive. And when they do, Jack will be ready with his answer.

    8.1 Questions for reading comprehension

      1) What will Jack be doing when he notices the strange light in the sky?
      2) How will the aliens greet Jack?
      3) Why have the aliens come to Earth?
      4) What will the aliens offer Jack?
      5) How will Jack initially respond to the aliens’ offer?
      6) What does Jack need to think about before making his decision?
      7) How long will Jack have to think about the aliens’ offer?
      8) When will the aliens return for Jack’s answer?

    8.2 Answers

      1) What will Jack be doing when he notices the strange light in the sky?

    Jack will be walking home from work when he notices the strange light in the sky.

      2) How will the aliens greet Jack?

    The aliens will greet Jack with “Greetings, Earthling.”

      3) Why have the aliens come to Earth?

    The aliens have come to Earth in search of intelligent life.

      4) What will the aliens offer Jack?

    The aliens will offer Jack the opportunity to join them on a journey to explore the galaxy.

      5) How will Jack initially respond to the aliens’ offer?

    Jack will initially be stunned and will say, “I don’t know. I have a life here on Earth. I have a job and friends and family. I can’t just leave all that behind.

      6) What does Jack need to think about before making his decision?

    Jack needs to think about the pros and cons of going on the journey and what he really wants in life.

      7) How long will Jack have to think about the aliens’ offer?

    Jack will have a week to think about the aliens’ offer.

      8) When will the aliens return for Jack’s answer?

    The aliens will return in a week’s time for Jack’s answer.