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

Examples:
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:

progressive

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)

Exceptions
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 Simple Tenses

What is the simple aspect

Simple tenses are used to express action that are factual or normal. In present tense, it often refers to a habitual, regular action or anything that is in occurrence but is not necessarily happening right now. These are usually timeless statements. It is used to express facts. The focus is on the occurrence, not the process or if the action is complete. For example,

Starbucks serves the best coffee in town.

This sentence clearly indicates that you can find the best coffee at Starbucks, but they might not be serving it right now. (They may be closed.)

Other examples:

She teaches English to elementary school kids.
The paper arrives at 7 am every day.
You need two tablespoon of sugar for this recipe.

Take a look at where the Simple Tenses are in the Verb Tenses Chart:

simple tenses
12 English Verb Tenses

Verbs that are usually used in Simple Tenses (Non-continuous Verbs)

Some verbs that express states and not actions or processes are generally used in Simple Tenses. The easiest way to identify such verbs is to examine if you can see someone performing the action. If you cannot see someone doing it, always use 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)

Exceptions

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

How to use the simple aspect

Once you have decided to use the simple aspect, verb formation is very easy. The simple aspect can be used in all three tenses: Simple Present, Simple Past and Simple Future. As there is no specific auxiliary verb for simple tenses, we simply use the first form of the verb in the correct tense.

General structure of Simple Tenses

subject

+

main verb

in correct tense

+

object / adverbs

I

live

in Bali.

Questions in Simpe Tenses

To form questions or negative phrases, the auxiliary verb ‘to do’ is used in the correct form in present and past tenses. For example,

Do you know where my keys are? / Did you know where my keys are?
I don’t know. / I didn’t know.

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