The future continuous tense is made up of the simple future tense of the verb to be (shall/will be) + a present participle (verb + -ing), as follow:
||simple future of 'to be'
||present participle (base + ing)
We use the future continuous tense:
- for an action that lasts a period of time in the future.
Example: His father will be working the whole day tomorrow.
- for an action that has been planned.
Example: They will be going on vacation this summer.
- to express an action that will be in progress at a certain or specified time in the future.
Example: We will/shall be sleeping by the time you return.
Example: At this time next week, I shall/will be playing poker.
Example: Will they be coming at 6 p.m. tomorrow?
- for an action which will happen as a matter of routine or as scheduled (without intention)
Example: You will be working with Miss Cool again when you turn up for work tomorrow.
Example: The first train will be departing at 5.30 a.m.
- to seek a favour of someone by asking about their plans
Example: Will you be passing the post office on your way home?
Example: Will you be joining the drinking session tonight?
- To make a prediction about something in the future.
Example: She will be feeling very sad after learning the truth.
(When in doubt, we can use may instead of shall/will. Example: She may be feeling very sad after learning the truth.)
The continuous tenses:
In the evening, she was at home. She was doing her homework. (past continuous)
In the evening, she is at home. She is doing her homework. (present continuous)
In the evening, she will be at home. She will be doing her homework. (future continuous)
The future continuous tense and the simple future tense:
Will you be coming to the party tonight? (future continuous tense)
Will you come to the party tonight? (simple future tense)
The choir will be singing when the bride and bridegroom enter the church. (future continuous tense - The choir will sing before the bride and bridegroom enter the church.)
The choir will sing when the bride and bridegroom enter the church. (simple future tense - The bride and bridegroom will enter the church and then the choir will sing.)
- Sometimes there is little or no difference between the future continuous tense and the simple future tense:
He will be having lunch with us.
He will have lunch with us.
More than one way is possible to express a future action, and often they have similar meaning.
Some guests will be arriving late.
Some guests will arrive late.
Some guests are arriving late.