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Future Continuous Tense: Definition, Structure, and Usage

The future continuous tense, also called the future progressive tense, shows when a future action will occur or be completed and also emphasizes that the action will continue for a specific period.

For example:

  • I will be driving to the park later.
  • She will be arriving at the movie theater around 8 o’clock. 
  • They will be dancing at the party all night. 

How Do You Form the Future Continuous Tense?

The future continuous verb form shows that an action will occur in the future and will continue for a specific period of time.

Let’s take a look at how you can form sentences in the future continuous tense.

The Future Continuous Tense Formula

To use the future continuous tense, combine  “will be” with the verb in its “-ing” form. The sentence almost always includes a time marker to specify when the action will take place. 

The formula to create the “will be” future continuous tense is:

  • Subject + will be + -ing form of the verb

For example:

  • The dogs will be boarding at my friend’s house while we are on vacation. 
  • He will be running the race later in the afternoon. 

Passive forms of the future continuous tense are also important to understand. A verb is in the passive voice when the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. In other words, the subject receives the action of the verb. While the passive form is less commonly used, it can serve to emphasize the action in the sentence rather than the doer of the action. The passive voice in the future continuous tense uses the structure: 

  • Subject + will be + being + past participle of the verb

For example:

  • The mural will be being painted by the local artists next week.
  • The documents will be being reviewed by the committee all morning tomorrow. 

Time Expressions Used With Future Continuous

Here are some time markers you can use for this verb tense.

  • Next week/month/year
  • In/on/at
  • Later/this afternoon/tonight/tomorrow/soon

What Are the Different Uses of the Future Continuous Tense?

The future continuous tense has different applications depending on the scenario in which it is being used. These examples provide you with different uses so you can recognize when to use them in your speech and writing. 

To Describe a Future Action Happening During a Specific Time

The primary purpose of the future continuous tense is to discuss a continuous or ongoing action in the future at a specific time. 

For example:

  • I will be leaving the house between 8 and 11 pm.

To Describe Multiple Future Actions Happening at the Same Time

Use the future continuous tense to discuss multiple ongoing events that will be happening at the same time in the future. These can be predictions or actual events that will occur at a later time or date.

For example:

  • As they will be celebrating their anniversary at the restaurant, we will be throwing a surprise party for them at their home.
  • While Julia’s class will be going to the zoo next month, Jenelle’s team will be completing the soccer playoffs.

To Describe a Future Action Interrupted by Another Action

Use the future continuous tense to show an ongoing action in the future that will be interrupted by another shorter action. The ongoing action is in the future continuous tense, while the interrupting event is in the simple future tense.

For example:

  • I will be reading a book when the phone will ring.

However, it’s important to note that in many cases, native speakers tend to use the present simple for the interrupting action in time clauses: 

For example:

  • I will be making repairs tomorrow night when the tools arrive.
  • She will be going to the beach tomorrow once the sun rises.

Both constructions can convey the idea of an interruption, but the latter is more common in everyday English.

To Describe Likely Hypothetical Situations in the Future

The future continuous tense can also show predictions or guesses about future events.

For example:

  • I expect the online shop will be sending an email newsletter at noon.
  • They are hopeful the playoff game will be showing on their streaming service. 
  • She is guessing the restaurant will be opening once they are fully staffed.

Future Continuous Tense Questions Formation

  1. Basic Interrogative Structure:

The formula to create the “will be” future continuous tense in interrogative form is:

  • Will + subject + be + -ing form of the verb?

For example:

  • Will the horse be running in the race next weekend?
  1. With Additional Interrogative Words:

Add other interrogative words at the start of the question.

For example:

  • How will you be arriving at the dance next weekend?

Future Continuous Tense Negative Formation

In negative sentences, add the word “not” before the helping verb to make it “will not be.” 

The formula to create the “will be” future continuous tense in negative form is:

  • Subject + will not be + -ing form of the verb

For example:

  • He will not be arriving at school on time tomorrow. 

The common short form of “will not” is “won’t.” So, you can also replace “will not be” with “won’t be” within negative sentences. 

For example:He won’t be arriving at school on time tomorrow.