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Academic Lesson – Future Progressive December 30th, 2019

The main function of the future progressive (also called the future continuous) is to show a continuing (long) action getting interrupted by a short future action. 


  1. When forming the future progressive in English, the independent clause uses will + be + -ing verb and the dependent clause takes the simple present. Even though the verb in the dependent clause has a simple present structure, both clauses have a future meaning. Remember that the dependent clause can come before or after the independent clause. When it comes before the independent clause, a comma is needed. 
    1. We will be playing soccer when the storm hits.
    2. When the storm hits, we will be playing soccer. 
  2. Some verbs are common as short actions, and knowing them will help you identify if a sentence needs the future progressive. These verbs include call, ring, arrive, come, land, hit, and go out
    1. They will be studying when the bell rings.
    2. She will be sleeping when his plane lands tonight. 
  3. The short action in a future progressive sentence can be expressed simply by a time reference instead of a full clause. If a time reference comes before the independent clause, the comma is optional because time references are very short.
    1. Mr. Ferguson will be collecting the tests at 3:00 PM.
    2. They will still be arguing at noon tomorrow.
    3. At Christmastime many people will be shopping for gifts.
    4. At 11:00 PM tonight, I will still be playing the guitar.
  4. Will is often contracted to ‘ll in speaking and informal writing.
    1. You’ll be doing the dishes when I get home from work. 
    2. When I get home from work, you’ll be doing the dishes. 
  5. It is possible to use be going to + be + -ing verb to form the future progressive. Because it is such a long verb tense, will + be + -ing verb is more common. Note that though we can use the present progressive to indicate a simple future tense, we can never use it with the future progressive. 

INCORRECT: She is being studying when I call her.

CORRECT: She is going to be studying when I call her. 

CORRECT: She will be studying when I call her. (the most common form) 

Give it a try by forming the future progressives of the word in brackets: 

  1. The sun           (shine)            when the kids wake up tomorrow morning.
  2. His band          (perform)       at the club tonight.
  3. They        (eat)          dinner at 8:00 PM, so don’t call then.