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9. Will be doing

FORM 8


1 Introduction


Rachel: Would you like to come to our party tomorrow, Andrew?
Andrew: Er, thanks for the invitation, but I've got lots of work at the moment. I'll be working all day tomorrow.
Rachel: You won't be working on Saturday evening, surely. Come on, Andrew, take a break. We'll be starting at about ten o'clock.
We can use will be + an -ing form (the Future Continuous) to talk about future actions. There are two different uses.

2 Will be doing for continuous actions

We use the Future Continuous for an action over a period of time.
It means that at some time in the future we will be in the middle of an action.
Andrew can't go to the party. He'll be working all day tomorrow.
I'll be out at three o'clock. I'll be playing golf.
When the men leave the building, the police will be waiting for them.
What will we be doing in ten years' time, I wonder?

Compare the Past Continuous, Present Continuous and Future Continuous.
Past: This time last week we were sitting on the beach.
Present: At the moment we're sitting on the beach.
Future: This time next week we'll be sitting on the beach.

Compare will do and will be doing in these sentences.
The band will play when the President enters.
(The President will enter and then the band will play.)
The band will be playing when the President enters.
(The band will start playing before the President enters.)

3 Will be doing for single actions

We also use will be + an -ing form for an action which will happen in the course of events because it is part of a plan or part of a schedule of future events.
The party will be starting at ten o'clock. (part of the evening's events)
The ship will be sailing soon. (part of our journey)

More than one form is often possible. Will or the Present Continuous often have a very similar meaning.
The visitors will be arriving/will arrive/are arriving later.

We often use the Future Continuous for something that will happen as part of a routine.
I'll call in and see you tomorrow afternoon. I'll be passing your house. It's on my way home from work.
Trevor and Laura will be cleaning the house tomorrow. They always do it on Sunday.

We can also use will be + an -ing form to ask about someone's plans.
Will you be going anywhere near a chemist's this morning? - Yes, why? - Could you get me some aspirin,
please? - Yes, of course.
How long will you be using this computer? - You can have it in a minute.

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