How to Use the Future Continuous Tense (2023)

The future continuous tense is a verb tense that shows an action happening over a period of time in the future. “I will be dancing all night” is an example of the future continuous tense, as it indicates an action continuing over a specific future period of time. Compare it to this sentence, written in the simple future tense: “I will dance.” Although this example indicates an intention to dance in the future, it does not refer to a continuous action over a specific period of time in the future.

The future continuous tense can be confusing because it sometimes seems interchangeable with other future tenses. Below, we cover the specifics of the future continuous tense so you know when to use it—and when not to use it.

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What is the future continuous tense?

The future continuous tense, also known as the future progressive tense, is a verb tense that shows an ongoing action in the future. It is the future version of the present continuous tense, which uses a similar construction.

Future continuous: I will be watching my shows from lunch until dinner.

Present continuous: I am watching my shows.

It is helpful to use the future continuous tense when describing:

  • multiple actions happening in the future
  • planned or confirmed future events taking place at a specific time

Although the future continuous tense is often confused with the simple future tense, there are some key differences between the two. The future continuous tense is usually used with a specified period of time, whereas the simple future tense can be used with or without an exact time.

(Video) Learn English Tenses: FUTURE CONTINUOUS

The future continuous tense also shows more certainty than the simple future tense does. We use the future continuous tense for actions we know will happen, but we use the simple future tense for actions that are less likely.

Future continuous (certain): They will be promoting me to manager on Friday.

Simple future (uncertain): They will promote me to manager one day.

There’s also some confusion about the future continuous tense vs. the future perfect continuous tense. Keep in mind that the future continuous tense is for actions taking place over a specific period of time in the future, while the future perfect continuous tense is for actions that are ongoing into the future but lack a specified end date.

Future continuous: I will be working as a sales assistant from November to December.

Future perfect continuous: In December, I will have been working as a sales assistant for a year.

Like all other continuous tenses, you cannot use the future continuous tense with stative verbs like want, need, love, or hate. Use the simple future tense with stative verbs instead.

Future continuous tense (incorrect): I will be needing help with the repairs tomorrow.

Simple future tense (correct): I will need help with the repairs tomorrow.

How does the future continuous tense work?

The future continuous tense is formed with the words will and be plus the present participle of the actionable verb. Unlike most other verb tenses, you do not need to conjugate any verbs to match person, number, or gender.

[will] + [be] + [present participle of verb]

She will be speaking in the auditorium this evening.

(Video) BBC English Masterclass: Uses of the future continuous

Essentially, the future continuous tense takes the present continuous tense and adjusts it to speak to the future.

Remember that when using the modal verb will, the verb that follows uses its bare infinitive form (the infinitive without to). So when we add will to the present continuous, the verbs is, are, or am take their bare infinitive form, be. The present participle remains the same.

Future continuous: He will be studying for the test all night.

Present continuous: He is studying for the test right now.

How to use the future continuous tense with negatives

When using the future continuous tense with negatives, insert the word not after will and before be.

[will] + [not] + [be] + [present participle of verb]

She will not be joining us this evening.

How to use the future continuous tense with contractions

Contractions can be tricky with the future continuous tense because positive and negative sentences have different rules.

For positive sentences, if the subject is a pronoun, use a contraction with the subject and the word will.

She’ll be coming around the mountain.

I’ll be sleeping until noon.

For negative sentences, instead of using a contraction with the subject, use the contraction won’t to replace will and not.

(Video) Future Continuous Tense

I won’t be attending the party this weekend.

They won’t be checking their email while on holiday.

How to use the future continuous tense in questions

When using the future continuous tense in a question, the subject comes after will and before be.

[will] + [subject] + [be] + [present participle of verb]

Will she be acting in the sequel next year?

For negative questions, we typically use the contraction won’t to replace will.

Won’t she be acting in the sequel next year?

When to use the future continuous tense, with examples

There are a few particular instances when the future continuous tense is preferable over the other future tenses.

1 To describe a future action happening during a specific time

As we talked about above, the future continuous tense is often used with specified times.

We will be watching horror movies from dusk until dawn.

The museum will be hosting a special tour at 8 p.m.

2 To describe multiple future actions happening at the same time

When more than one action is happening in the future and at least one action is ongoing, use the future continuous tense.

(Video) 🔥 5 Ways to Use The Future Continuous Tense in English

My brother will be babysitting while I’m at work.

I’ll be playing basketball on Sunday, and my partner will be playing tennis.

3 To describe a future action interrupted by another action

In a situation involving multiple future actions and one action interrupting another, use the future continuous tense for the action being interrupted, and use the simple present for the action that interrupts.

This construction is often used with a subordinate clause beginning with when.

I will be taking a shower when the guests arrive.

When the clock strikes midnight, we will be drinking champagne.

4To describe likely hypothetical situations in the future

All future events are hypothetical, so you can use any future tense to describe them. However, use the future continuous tense for hypothetical events that seem likely—or that you want to seem likely.

Everyone will be cheering for me at the game tomorrow.

We’ll be driving hover cars any day now.

For more details on using the future continuous tense and other tenses, check out our free grammar guide.

Future continuous tense FAQs

What is the future continuous tense?

The future continuous tense is a verb tense used to show a future action that takes place over a period of time, as with the example, “The professor will be speaking from 3 to 4 p.m.”

How does it work?

You form the future continuous tense with the modal verb will and the verb be as a bare infinitive (the infinitive form without to). After will be, add the actionable verb in its present participle form, with the –ing ending. For example, “We will be waiting here when you arrive.”

(Video) Future Continuous Tense with examples| When should we use the future continuous tense

When should you use the future continuous tense?

Use the future continuous tense when you discuss multiple actions in the future, when one future action interrupts another, when you specify an action occurring during an exact future time range, or when you discuss a hypothetical future event with a high likelihood or desired likelihood.

FAQs

How to Use the Future Continuous Tense? ›

You form the future continuous tense with the modal verb will and the verb be as a bare infinitive (the infinitive form without to). After will be, add the actionable verb in its present participle form, with the –ing ending.

What is the formula for the future continuous tense question? ›

The construction for forming this tense is: will + be + the present participle (the root verb + -ing).

What is a future continuous tense with examples? ›

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.

What is the future continuous tense short answer? ›

Future continuous tense is used to talk about actions that are supposed to be in progress at a particular time in the future. He will be playing tomorrow. He 'll be playing tomorrow.

What is future progressive tense examples with answers? ›

Example Sentences
  • In two months, I will be eating a plant-based diet.
  • By 3019, we will be driving spaceships.
  • In a year, he will be asking for forgiveness.
  • In an hour, we will be flying over the Atlantic.
  • By then, we will be practicing yoga every morning.
  • Joanne will be coming home for the holidays.
Feb 17, 2021

What are the 10 examples of future continuous tense? ›

Examples of Future Continuous Tense
  • I will be writing the letter tomorrow.
  • The baby will be playing the whole night.
  • I will be helping my mother to make breakfast.
  • Sheldon will be eating the cake later.
  • Penny will be running the marathon tomorrow.
  • She will be taking her dog for a walk.

What are the rules for future continuous tense? ›

Future Continuous Tense – Rules

Use 'will be' while writing the sentence in the future continuous tense. Add '-ing' in the main action verb. Note that while making the sentence in the negative form 'not' will come in between will and be. Like 'will not be'.

What are the 3 uses of future continuous tense? ›

Use the future continuous tense when you discuss multiple actions in the future, when one future action interrupts another, when you specify an action occurring during an exact future time range, or when you discuss a hypothetical future event with a high likelihood or desired likelihood.

What are 4 examples of future perfect continuous tense? ›

I will have been waiting here for three hours by six o'clock. By 2001 I will have been living in London for sixteen years. When I finish this course, I will have been learning English for twenty years. Next year I will have been working here for four years.

What are 5 examples of present continuous tense? ›

Examples of Present Continuous Tense:
  • I am writing articles on different topics.
  • He is reading various kinds of books.
  • They are playing football now.
  • She is drinking coffee.
  • He is going to the library.
  • We are coming for shopping in this market.
  • We are watching a movie in this Cineplex.
  • You are shopping in that market.

What is the future continuous tense positive sentence formula? ›

POSITIVE SENTENCES:

Subject + will be + (1st form of verb + ing) + object. Examples: I will be waiting for you tomorrow. He will be working as an engineer in this factory.

Why is the future continuous? ›

To form Wh- questions in Future Continuous Tense, we use this following structure: Wh- question word + Will + Subject + Be + Verb – ing + Rest of the sentence (verb in simple present) ? For example: What (Wh- question) + will + you (Subject) + be + doing (Verb -ing) today at 5 pm (Object) + ?

What is continuous for future? ›

The present continuous can refer to the future. It shows that we have already decided something and usually that we have already made a plan or arrangements: [talking about plans for a tour by a rock music group] The band is visiting Denmark next May. I am taking the train to Paris tomorrow.

What are 4 examples of future tense? ›

Examples – Future Tense
  • She'll write the e-mail after lunch.
  • Don't lift that. You'll hurt yourself.
  • You dropped your purse. ...
  • I'll see you tomorrow.
  • You'll get the answer by post.
  • Dan's going to take the order over to the customer.
  • The girls are going to sing 'Amazing Grace' now.
  • I'll drive you to your lesson at 4 pm.

What are 5 examples of simple future tense? ›

Examples of the simple future tense in affirmative sentences
  • The birds will eat these grains in the morning.
  • My father will teach me how to drive a car next month.
  • We shall go to the picnic tomorrow by bus.
  • I shall be sixteen next Tuesday.
  • They will come back from their tour this evening.

What is a 5 sentence with future progressive? ›

Future Progressive Tense Example Sentences

This guy will be sleeping when you find him. Tomorrow at three o'clock Josh will be cooking. It will be raining the entire week. He will be running until he's too tired to move.

What is the formula for present continuous questions? ›

When asking a question in the present continuous tense, use the formula: [am, is, are] + subject + present participle. Examples: Is she going with us? Are they running today?

What are the 4 formulas of future tense? ›

Structure of Future Tense
TypeGeneral Formula & Rule
Simple Future TenseSubject + will/shall + V1 + Object
Future Perfect TenseSubject + will have/shall have + V3 + Object
Future Continuous TenseSubject + will be/shall be + V1 + ing + Object
1 more row

What is the formula for the question in the past continuous tense? ›

Was/were + subject + present participle (verb+ing) + the rest of the sentence? Wasn't/weren't + subject + present participle (verb+ing) + the rest of the sentence? She was doing her work. We were going out for dinner.

How do you ask a question in future perfect continuous tense? ›

Interrogative Sentences in Future Perfect Continuous Tense

To form an interrogative sentence in Future Perfect Continuous Tense, we use the formula will + subject + have + been + v-ing or will + subject+ not + have + been + v-ing.

Videos

1. Future Simple & Future Continuous | English Tenses | will? be going to? will be going?
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2. Future Continuous Tense: Beginner's Guide with Examples & Stories
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4. Learn Future Continuous Tense | Basic English Grammar Course
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5. Future Continuous and Future Perfect Forms | Advanced English Grammar
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6. Future continuous tense | Future continuous conversation | Sunshine English
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