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.


Overview of Progressive Tenses

What is the progressive aspect

The progressive aspect allows the speaker to express an action that is unfinished or in progress. They generally refer to an action in a given moment, not regularity. The aim of the speaker is to refer to an action that is ongoing at a given moment. It can also be used to describe an action withing a given time frame.

For example:
She is playing with her phone during the break.
The professor was explaining the solution when the bell rang.
I was walking home when it started raining.

How to use the progressive aspect

If you have decided to use progressive aspect, the next step is to decide which tense to put the verb into. The progressive aspect can be used in all three tenses: present, past and future. In each tense, you must use the auxiliary verb of Progressive Tenses in the correct tense.

General structure of Progressive Tenses

S + conjugated form of ‘to be’ + Progressive Participle of Main Verb + O

Progressive Tenses use ‘to be’ as an auxiliary verb that must be followed by the progressive participle of the main verb. Remember that ‘to be’ needs to agree with the subject at all times. Note that ‘to be’ is always followed by the -progressive participle of the main verb in progressive tenses to express continuity. You may see ‘to be’ followed by the past participle of the verb which is used in Passive Voice that is not a tense.

Take a look at the highlighted area to see the correct form of progressive verbs in each tense:


For a detailed explanation and usage, check out the individual page of each Progressive Tense here:
Present Progressive
Past Progressive
Future Progressive

Verbs that are usually not used in Progressive Tenses
(Non-continuous Verbs)

Some verbs that express states and not actions or processes cannot be used in Progressive Tenses. The easiest way to decide if you can use a verb in progressive form is to ask yourself if you can see somebody doing it. If you cannot see someone doing it, stick to Simple Tenses. The verbs usually express something abstract such as emotions, opinion or possession.

  • Senses / Perception: to feel, to hear, to see, to smell, to taste
  • Opinions / beliefs: to assume, to believe, to consider, to doubt, to feel (=to think), to find (=to consider), to suppose, to think*
    *‘To think’ cannot be used in a progressive tense if it expresses opinion. However, if it expresses the action of someone thinking about something without any result, it can be used in Progressive Tenses.
  • Mental states: to forget, to imagine, to know, to mean, to notice, to recognize, to remember, to understand
  • Emotions: to envy, to fear, to dislike, to hate, to hope, to like, to love, to mind, to prefer, to regret, to want, to wish
  • Measurement: to contain, to cost, to hold, to measure, to weigh
  • Others: to look (=to resemble), to seem, to be (in most cases), to have (=to own)

Some verbs have a different meaning in Progressive and Simple Tenses. Make sure to note these when forming sentences or translating them.

  • This massage feels nice. → perception of the massage’s quality
  • Franz is feeling sick from the salad. → his health is currently affected by the salad
  • My neighbor has 20 cats. → expressing ownership
  • I’m having a great time with you. → being entertained, feeling good
  • You can’t see the London Eye from here. → perception
  • I’m seeing my mom later during the week. → planning on meeting

Overview of English Verb Tenses


Learning verb tenses is always the tricky part of learning a language. Especially, when a language has 12 of them. It might sound scary at first but once you understand the logic behind why there are so many in the English language, you’ll be able to use them with confidence. In this post, I’ll give you a general overview on tenses that you can use as guidence before you dive into each tense one by one. Take a look at the following chart with all the tenses:

Verb Tenses Chart
12 English Verb Tenses

*S refers to subject as the performer of the action
E.g. If we examine the following sentence: ‘Mary makes a coffee.’ → Mary is the subject.
*O refers to the object on which the action is performed
E.g. In the above-mentioned sentence the coffee is the object.

Verb Tenses

In the English language, tenses are categorized according to two characteristics: tense and aspect as you can see it in the table above. Understanding tenses is more intuitive as there are past, present and future tenses, depending where the action takes place in time compared to our present.

Verb Aspect

The aspect is a bit more complicated. We differentiate three aspects: simple, progressive and perfect. Each tense has a simple, a progressive, a perfect progressive and a perfect version, adding up to 12 tenses. However, it is enough to understand the logic behind the aspects and you will know when to use them. Each aspect follows the same structure in all tenses, therefore, you will only need to learn the logic behind the structure of each aspect and you will be able to put it in past, present of future forms.

Don’t confuse tenses with clauses

In the table above, you can find all tenses in each aspect. Note that each of these tenses can be used in different clauses such as conditional and passive voice so do not confuse the two. I encourage you to check out the overview pages of each aspect before jumping into the tenses so that you will have a general understanding of the structure. Always use a verb tenses chart for guidance.

Useful abbreviations in verb structures

Most verb tenses in the English language consist of an auxuliary verb (helping verb) and a main verb, meaning that there are auxiliary verbs assisting the action verb to express the right time and aspect. At the beginning of each page, you will find a clear guideline how to form the structure in that specific tense. I will be using the following abbreviations for different verb forms:

  • Bare infinitive: Bare infinitive is the infinitive form of the  You form the first form of the verb by dropping the ‘to’ from the infinitive form.
    For example: to make → make
    to play → play
  • Simple Past: The second form of the verb is the past form or -ed form. Note that there are many irregular verbs in the English language. You can find an extensive list here.
  • Past Participle: The third form of the verb is the Past Participle. It is formed by adding -ed to the end of the verb. However, the irregular verbs have irregular Past Participle forms, as well, that you can learn along with the second forms. The third form usually follows the auxiliary verb ‘to have’ in Perfect Tenses.
  • Progressive Participle: The -ing form of the verb is created by adding -ing to the end of the verb. There are some irregularities in spelling that you can find here. The -ing form is generally used in Progressive Tenses and it is follows the auxiliary verb ‘to be’.

Always keep in mind

There are some general rules in English structures that can help you get the right form:

  • ‘Have’ as an auxiliary verb is always followed by the perfect participle of the verb.
    For example: I have been dreaming about a chocolate cake for so long.
  • ‘To be’ in progressive tenses is always followed by the progressive participe of the verb. If it is followed by the perfect participle, it refers to Passive Voice which is not a verb tense.
    For example: Bob was lying to me the whole time. → progressive
    I was being lied to the whole time. → Passive Voice
  • When you got the correct structure of the chosen aspect right, it is always the first auxiliary verb that needs to be put in the chosen tense.
    For example: ‘to be going to the movies’ →  She was going to the movies.
  • The first auxiliary verb of the tense must always agree with the subject. The form of all other auxiliary or action verbs will be determined by the auxiliary verb standing in front of them.
    For example: She has been knitting this sweater for months. → Here, the form of ‘to have’ must agree with she or third person singular.