Future Continuous Tense. Free English Lesson with Test and Certificate.
Quick Future Continuous Tense study for SAT, IELTS, TESOL and other exams.
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How to use the future continuous tense in English
The most common use of the future continuous tense is to indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future. This can be a real interruption, or just an interruption in time.
Here’s a few examples.
- I will be sleeping when you come home.
- She will be waiting for you when you get out of school.
- Will you be working until 10:00 tonight?
- I hope you will not be working late tonight.
- We will be going to the airport at 2:30 tomorrow.
Your English lesson about the Future Continuous Tense
Welcome to the Future Continuous lesson! In this lesson, we will cover many of the uses of the future continuous tense.
The most common use of the future continuous is 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. Let’s look at some examples.
I will be sleeping when you come home.
She will be waiting for you when you get out of school.
Mr. Johnson is going to be staying at the Madison Hotel, from May 8 until May 12.
They will be studying in the library when you come home.
Notice in the examples above that the interruptions are in simple present tense even though the action is taking place in the future. This is because the interruptions are in 'time clauses', and you cannot use future tenses in time clauses.
Future continuous has two different forms: "will be doing" and "be going to be doing." In most cases, you can use either form without changing the meaning of the sentence.
The future continuous with "will" is constructed like this:
[will be + present participle]
I will be working until 10:00 tonight.
Will you be working until 10:00 tonight?
I hope you will not be working late tonight.
The future continuous with "be going to" looks like this:
[am/is/are + going to be + present participle]
She is going to be studying English every night until she takes the IELTS test.
Is she going to be studying English every night until she takes the IELTS test?
She is not going to be studying English every night until she takes the IELTS test.
As seen above, the future continuous tense is interrupted by a short action in the future. In addition, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.
I’m going to be celebrating New Year at midnight tonight.
I will be jogging at 6:00 tomorrow morning.
We will be going to the airport at 2:30 tomorrow.
It is important to notice that in the simple future tense a specific time is used to show when an action will begin or end. We use the future continuous to convey that the specific time interrupts the action.
Here is a simple future tense example:
I will finish studying at 6:00.
Here is the future continuous version:
I will be studying at 6:00.
More future continuous tense exercises
Another way to use the future continuous is to express the idea that two actions will be taking place at the same time.
I am going to be working and my wife is going to be helping my son with his homework.
Tonight, we will be eating, drinking, and talking about the fun we had when we were on holiday together.
My father will be taking a nap while I clean the house.
In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a specific point in the future.
We always have fun at Thanksgiving. Everybody will be eating delicious food. The men will be talking about the football game, the women will be sharing funny stories, and the children will be playing with toys.
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 cleaning the house, my wife is going to be working in the garden.
While I am cleaning the house, my wife is going to work in the garden.
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.
- Non-continuous verbs. Verbs that cannot be used in continuous forms are usually verbs that you cannot see somebody doing. These verbs are rarely used in continuous forms. They are:
- Abstract verbs: Be, want, cost, need, care, contain, owe, exist, etc.
- Possession verbs: Own, belong, possess, etc.
- Emotion Verbs: Like, love, hate, dislike, fear, envy, etc.
Grandmother will be being at our house when you come home. (Not Correct)
Grandmother will be at our house when you come home. (Correct)
It’s story time
Now that we’ve learned a lot about the future continuous tense, let’s see how this is used in a short story. As you read the following story, pay attention to how the future continuous tense is used.
Christmas is only one week away, and I have a lot of things to do. First, I will be shopping almost every day while my wife cleans the house. I will need to buy food for our guests, Christmas decorations, and of course, gifts.
Also, tomorrow afternoon, while you are drinking hot chocolate, I will be chopping down a Christmas tree at the Christmas tree farm. Then I will be driving home while my wife looks for the Christmas lights.
On Christmas Eve, I will be taking my kids to church while my brother picks up my grandmother from the airport. He is going to be waiting at the airport for a long time when the plane finally arrives. There is a lot of traffic on Christmas Eve, so he will have to get there early.
On Christmas morning the kids will be enthusiastically opening their gifts while my wife prepares breakfast. After breakfast, the kids will play with their new toys and adults will relax and talk in the living room.
I usually take the kids to the park in the afternoon. They will be playing tirelessly until about 4:00. While they are playing, the women in the family will be preparing Christmas dinner.
Finally, when the kids and I return from the park, a fire will be burning in the fireplace, the women will be placing the dinner on the table, and my Aunt Mildred will be singing Christmas carols.
Christmas is a very busy time, but it is really nice when the whole family gets together for the holidays.
That’s the end of the lesson on the future continuous tense.
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