Future Continuous – Use

The use of Future Continuous

Introduction

Laura: Would you like to come to our party on Saturday, Rupert?
Rupert: Er, thanks for the invitation, Laura, but I’ve got a lot of work right now.
I’ll be working all day Saturday.
Laura: Surely you won’t be working on Saturday evening.
Come on, Rupert, take a break.
We’ll be starting about nine o’clock.

We can use the Future Continuous (will be + an -ing form) to talk about future actions.
There are two different uses.

 

Future Continuous (will be doing) for continuous actions

We use the future continuous for an action over a period of time.
It means that some time in the future we will be in the middle of an action.
• Rupert can’t go to the party. He’ll be working all day Saturday.
• John’ll be out at two o’clock. He’ll be playing squash.
• When the men leave the building, the police will be waiting for them.
• What will we be doing in five year’s time, I wonder?

Compare the Past Continuous, Present Continuous and Future Continuous.

 • Past: This time last week we were playing in the park.
 • Present: At the moment we’re playing in the park.
 • Future: This time next week we’ll be playing in the park.

Compare will do and will be doing in these sentences:
• The band will play when the Queen enters.
(The Queen will enter and then the band will play.)
• The band will be playing when the Queen enters.
(The band will start playing before the Queen enters.)

 

Future Continuous (will be doing) for single actions

We also use will be + an -ing form for an action which will happen in the course of events because it is part of a plan or part of a schedule of future events.
• The party will be starting at nine o’clock. (part of the evening’s events)
• The train will be leaving soon. (part of our journey)

More than one form is often possible.
Will or the Present Continuous often have a very similar meaning.
• The guests will be arriving/will arrive/are arriving later.

We often use the Future Continuous for something that will happen as part of a routine.
• I’ll call in and see you tomorrow afternoon.
I’ll be passing your house.
It’s on my way home from work.
• Terry will be cleaning the flat tomorrow. She always does it on Saturday.

We can also use will be + an -ing form to ask about someone’s plans.
• Will you be going anywhere near a chemist’s this afternoon? -Yes, why?
-Could you get me some aspirin, please? -Yes, of course.
• How long will you be using the laptop? -You can have it in a minute.