Future Continuous

The Future Continuous tense is often used in English as a way to talk about something happening at a given point in the future.

How do we make the Future Continuous tense?

The structure of the Future Continuous tense is:

subject+auxiliary verb WILL+auxiliary verb BE+main verb
invariableinvariablepresent participle
willbebase + ing

For negative sentences in the Future Continuous tense, we insert not between will and be. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the Future Continuous tense:

subjectauxiliary verbauxiliary verbmain verb
+Iwillbeworkingat 10am.
+Youwillbelyingon a beach tomorrow.
Shewillnotbeusingthe car.
Wewillnotbehavingdinner at home.
?Willyoubeplayingfootball?
?WilltheybewatchingTV?

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

Contraction with Future Continuous

When we use the Future Continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and WILL:

I willI’ll
you willyou’ll
he will
she will
it will
he’ll
she’ll
it’ll
we willwe’ll
they willthey’ll

In negative sentences, we may contract with won’t, like this:

I will notI won’t
you will notyou won’t
he will not
she will not
it will not
he won’t
she won’t
it won’t
we will notwe won’t
they will notthey won’t

How do we use the Future Continuous tense?

The Future Continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the future. The action will have started before that moment but it will not have finished at that moment. For example, tomorrow I will start work at 2pm and stop work at 6pm:

At 4pm tomorrow, I will be working.
pastpresentfuture
 4pm
At 4pm, I will be in the middle of working.

When we use the Future Continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these examples:

  • will be playing tennis at 10am tomorrow.
  • They won’t be watching TV at 9pm tonight.
  • What will you be doing at 10pm tonight?
  • What will you be doing when I arrive?
  • She will not be sleeping when you telephone her.
  • We‘ll be having dinner when the film starts.
  • Take your umbrella. It will be raining when you return.

Note that continuous tenses are also called progressive tenses. So the Future Continuous tense is sometimes called the Future Progressive tense.