Future Progressive Tense

When to use Future Progressive

The Future Progressive Tense refers to an action that will be in progress at a certain point in tie in the future. The focus of progressive tenses is on the continuity of the action, therefore, Future Progressive often refers to an unfinished action.

  • Projecting ongoing events to a specific point in time in the future
    The Jetsons will be joining us for dinner tonight.
    This time next week they will be sitting on the plane.
    I’ll be staying with local host families in China.
    He’ll still be working on his assignment in an hour.
  • Predictions about the future
    I’ll be missing you so much when you leave.
    You’ll be living on the streets if you don’t get a job soon.
  • Asking about plans in the future
    Will you be bringing your girlfriend to the party?
    Will she be attending the evening classes?
    Will I be driving with you to the park?

Structure of Simple Future Tense

Subject + will + be + Progressive Participle of Main Verb+ Object

The Future Progressive Tense puts the progressive aspect in a future form. As in the Simple Future Tense, future is expressed by the auxiliary verb ‘will’ that must be followed by a verb in bare infinitive. Remember that ‘will’ doesn’t need to be conjugated. To express progression, we’ll need the auxiliary verb ‘to be’ in first form which is ‘be’. Similarly to other progressive tenses, the action verb will follow ‘to be’ in progressive participle form.

I will be sleeping
You will be sleeping
He / She / It will be sleeping
We will be sleeping
You will be sleeping
They will be sleeping

Note that there’s no Future Progressive form of the verb ‘to be’:
I will be being sick. → I will be sick.

Take a look at where Future Progressive is in the Verb Tenses Table:

If you need a reminder on how to spell the -ing forms correctly, click here.

Making the Future Progressive Tense negative

As in case of Simple Future Tense, the negative form is created by combining ‘will’ and ‘not’ to ‘won’t’. The rest of the structure stays unchanged. Remember to use the short version in an informal and the long version in formal context. The negative of Future Progressive is formed as follows:

Subject + won’t / will not + be + Progressive Participle of Main Verb

I won’t be sleeping when you come home.
She won’t be driving with us.
We won’t be reviewing any grammar during class today.

Yes/No questions in Future Progressive

In the English language, questions are usually formed by switching the (first) auxiliary verb and the subject. For example:

She can speak English. → Can she speak English?

The same logic applies in Future Progressive, as ‘will’ is also a modal verb like ‘can’ in the above-mentioned example. Just switch ‘will’ and the subject.

No, I will be watching TV. → Will you be walking the dog when I come home?
You will be helping me with the laundry. 
→ Will you be helping me with the laundry?
This song will be playing in the background during the wedding. →
Will this song be playing at the wedding?

Open-ended questions in Future Progressive

To form open-ended questions, simply put the question word to the beginning of the sentence. The word order folowing the question word remains tha same as in case of yes/no questions. For example:

What will you be doing when I come home?
What will I be doing?
What song will be playing in the background?

Typical adverbs of the Future Progressive Tense

Tomorrow / tonight etc, at (6) pm/am/o’clock, next week / year, still, on Monday / Tuesday etc.

Note that in time clauses beginning with while, when, before, after, if and unless, the correct form of the verb is in present tense.

Some examples:
I’ll be making dinner when you come home.
Will you be coming to class on Thursday?
I’ll be hanging out alone unless you join me.
What will you be doing this time next week?
Mom will be cleaning up while you finish studying.


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