Read about the future continuous below, and then try these practice exercises to compare the 'future simple' and 'future continuous'.

Using the 'future simple' and 'future continuous'

Will can be used with simple, continuous or perfect verbs (see the next page for more information on the future perfect). It depends on whether the action has started or finished at a time in the future.

At six o'clock, ...

... I'll do my homework.

(simple = starts at 6 o'clock)

... I'll be doing my homework.

(continuous = started before 6, not finished)

The 'future simple'

Simple verb forms often refer to 'the whole action'. When we use them with a time, it means the action starts at this time. This example means that the aeroplane leaves at midnight.

At midnight tomorrow, I'll fly to Greece.

We make the future simple with will + verb (infinitive)

Positive: He'll remember my birthday

Negative: He won't remember my birthday.

Question: Will he remember my birthday?


The 'future continuous'

Continuous verb forms often mean "an action in progress". This example means that the flight starts before midnight, and finishes after midnight. At midnight, it is in progress. We usually use it with a point of time (e.g. on Tuesday, at 1.30).

At midnight tomorrow I'll be flying to Greece.

We make the future continuous with will be + verb-ing:

Positive: He'll be working at 11 o'clock tomorrow.

Negative: He won't be working at 11 o'clock tomorrow.

Question: Will he be working at 11 o'clock tomorrow?


Advanced points for the future continuous

Don't forget: "will" doesn't just mean "future". It is often used for predictions, which can also be about the present:

I think my brother will be sleeping at the moment.

We also sometimes use the future continuous as a way to talk about our plans (or things we expect to happen), particularly if we are making an offer or a request, or politely asking for information.

I'll be seeing my sister at the weekend. (with an offer: "... so I could give her your present if you want")

Will you be staying for another night? (a hotel receptionist politely requesting information about plans)


Now try these practice exercises to compare the 'future simple' and 'future continuous'.