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How to use the Future Continuous

Perfect English Grammar

Also called the Future Progressive

Download this explanation in PDF here.
Read about how to make the future simple here.

Future Continuous Infographic

1: We use the future continuous to talk about an action in the future that overlaps another, shorter action or a time. The action in the future continuous usually starts before and might continue after the second action or time. This is very similar to how we use the past continuous in the past. The verb after 'when' is usually in the present simple.

  • I'll be waiting when you arrive.
  • At eight o'clock, I'll be eating dinner.
2: We can use the future continuous to talk about something that will happen if everything happens as we expect. This is sometimes called future as a matter of course. It's usually possible to choose the future simple as well, but we often choose the future continuous because then it's clear that we are not making a request or offer.
  • The Government will be making a statement later.
  • When will you be leaving? (This is more polite than 'when will you leave?' because it's definitely not a request for you to leave.)
Remember, we can't use the future continuous with stative verbs, so if we want to use a stative verb in one of the situations where we need to the future continuous, then we use the future simple with 'will'.

Try some exercises about the future continuous here.