Future continuous

(Rules and explanations for the progressive form of the future)

Table of contents – future progressive

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Use of the future continuous
  2. Formation of the future continuous
  3. Further explanations and exercises

When is the future continuous used?

First of all, the future continuous describes an action that is ongoing at a specific time in the future – in contrast to the future simple that merely describes the fact that something happens. This may sometimes be difficult for learners as not every language offers that kind of aspect. Despite those difficulties, there are some key words that usually go with this tense (above all, expressions that describe points in time), for example ‘at 12 o’clock tomorrow’ etc. Compare the following uses:

  • Use of the future progressive for actions that are ongoing at or around a specific point of time in the future:
    • “I’ll be riding my bike tomorrow at 4 o’clock.”
    • “At lunchtime next Monday, we will be flying to Paris.”
  • If that is not the case, it can also be used for habitual actions. This refers to events that we expect to happen in the future. Such statements are often accompanied by key words as ‘usually’ or ‘as usual’:
    • “On Saturday, I will be going out as usual.”
    • “At Christmas, we will be visiting your parents as we usually do.”

How is the future continuous formed?

The future continuous is basically formed by combining the auxiliary verb ‘will’ with the infinitive form of ‘to be’ (be) and the ing-form (present participle) of the corresponding main verb. Generally, it is a rather easy form as even in the third person singular nos’ is added (as it is the case when using the present simple). Compare the conjugation in detail:

Rule for conjugating the future progressive

Remember that ‘s’ is never added in this tense.

Auxiliary verb ‘will’ + ‘be’ + present participle of the main verb (ing-form)

More examples

The auxiliary ‘will’ can also be shortened to ‘’ll’:

  • “I will be waiting at the airport.”
    • or short form: “I’ll be waiting.”
  • “He will be driving on the highway.”
    • or short form: “He’ll be driving.”

Further explanations relating to the ‘Future continuous/progressive’

The following explanations relate to the topic ‘Use of the progressive form of the English future tense (future continuous)’ and may also be interesting for you: