Future continuous has two different forms: “will be doing ” and “be going to be doing.” Unlike simple future forms, future continuous forms are usually interchangeable.
FORM Future Continuous with “Will”
[will be + present participle]
- You will be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight.
- Will you be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight?
- You will not be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight.
FORM Future Continuous with “Be Going To “
[am/is/are + going to be + present participle]
- You are going to be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight.
- Are you going to be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight?
- You are not going to be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight.
REMEMBER: It is possible to use either “will” or “be going to” to create the future continuous with little difference in meaning.
Complete List of Future Continuous Forms
USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Future
Use the future continuous to indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
- I will be watching TV when she arrives tonight.
- I will be waiting for you when your bus arrives.
- I am going to be staying at the Madison Hotel, if anything happens and you need to contact me.
- He will be studying at the library tonight, so he will not see Jennifer when she arrives.
Notice in the examples above that the interruptions (marked in italics) are in simple present rather than simple future. This is because the interruptions are in time clauses, and you cannot use future tenses in time clauses.
USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption in the Future
In USE 1, described above, the future continuous is interrupted by a short action in the future. In addition to using short actions as interruptions, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.
- Tonight at 6 PM, I am going to be eating dinner.
I will be in the process of eating dinner.
- At midnight tonight, we will still be driving through the desert.
We will be in the process of driving through the desert.
In the simple future, a specific time is used to show the time an action will begin or end. In the future continuous, a specific time interrupts the action.
- Tonight at 6 PM, I am going to eat dinner.
I am going to start eating at 6 PM.
- Tonight at 6 PM, I am going to be eating dinner.
I am going to start earlier and I will be in the process of eating dinner at 6 PM.
USE 3 Parallel Actions in the Future
When you use the future continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions will be happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
- I am going to be studying and he is going to be making dinner.
- Tonight, they will be eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.
- While Ellen is reading, Tim will be watching television.
Notice “is reading” because of the time clause containing “while.” (See Explanation Below)
USE 4 Atmosphere in the Future
In English, we often use a series of Parallel Actions to describe atmosphere at a specific point in the future.
- When I arrive at the party, everybody is going to be celebrating. Some will be dancing. Others are going to be talking. A few people will be eating pizza, and several people are going to be drinking beer. They always do the same thing.
REMEMBER No Future in Time Clauses
Like all future tenses, the future continuous cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of future continuous, present continuous is used.
- While I am going to be finishing my homework, she is going to make dinner. Not Correct
- While I am finishing my homework, she is going to make dinner. Correct
AND REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs
It is important to remember that non-continuous verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for mixed verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using future continuous with these verbs, you must use simple future.
- Jane will be being at my house when you arrive. Not Correct
- Jane will be at my house when you arrive. Correct
The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
- You will still be waiting for her when her plane arrives.
- Will you still be waiting for her when her plane arrives?
- You are still going to be waiting for her when her plane arrives.
- Are you still going to be waiting for her when her plane arrives?
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
- At 8:00 PM tonight, John will be washing the dishes. Active
- At 8:00 PM tonight, the dishes will be being washed by John. Passive
- At 8:00 PM tonight, John is going to be washing the dishes. Active
- At 8:00 PM tonight, the dishes are going to be being washed by John. Passive
NOTE: Passive forms of the future continuous are not common.
Now let’s Do some practice 🙂
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