Read the grammar explanation and do the exercise.

The future continuous (will be + ‘ing’ form) and the future perfect (will have + past participle) tenses are used to talk about events in the future.

Future continuous

  • Don’t ring at 8 o’clock. I’ll be watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
  • This time tomorrow we’ll be sitting on the beach. I can’t wait!

We use the future continuous to talk about something that will be in progress at or around a time in the future.

  • Don’t phone grandma now, she’ll be having dinner.
  • The kids are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong, I know it!

These sentences are not about the future but we can use the future continuous to talk about what we assume is happening at the moment.

Future Perfect

  • Do you think you will have finished it by next Thursday?
  • In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

We use the future perfect to say that something will be finished by a particular time in the future.

We often use the future perfect with ‘by’ or ‘in

  • I think astronauts will have landed on Mars by the year 2020.
  • I’ll have finished in an hour and then you can use the computer.

By’ means ‘not later than a particular time’ and ‘in’ means 'within a period of time’. We don’t know exactly when something will finish.

  • I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday.

We don’t know exactly when he will finish the work – maybe Thursday, maybe Friday – but definitely before Saturday. 

Exercise

Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hi
in the example you've mentioned, "Don’t phone grandma now, she’ll be having dinner." why don't we say: she is having dinner?
according to my little knowledge with the adverb "now" we use present continuous and in this example, we want to say don't bother grandam because she is at the middle of having dinner

thank in advance

Hi ihsan_qwerty,

Both forms are possible here, but there is a difference in meaning.

If we say '...she's having dinner' then we are stating a fact which we know is true.

If we say '...she'll be having dinner' then we are speculating; we expect that this is true but we do not know for sure.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

You are GOD of ENGLISH.........thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks

We will be having dinner at a nice restaurant on Saturday, but we have't booked a table yet.
We are going to have dinner at a nice restaurant on Saturday, but we have't booked a table yet.
Why is the fisrt one wrong

On Sunday at 8 o'clock I am going to be meeting my friend.
On Sunday at 8 o'clock I am meeting my friend.
is the fisrt one wrong?

Hi andreus1999,

The first one is strange because when we use the future continuous, it's as if we're imagining the experience of having dinner at the restaurant or we're thinking about how the event happens, but then the second part of the sentence is talking about a plan. The second version of the sentence, which uses 'going to' to talk about a plan, makes more sense.

As for the second pair of sentences, both could be correct. It really depends on the situation you use them in and what you mean.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, please help me to understand which one is right.
Are you doing anything interesting this weekend?
or Will you be doing anything interesting this weekend?

I am totally confused to distinguish between present continuous in future and future continuous. :) Thank you!

Are you doing anything interesting this weekend? - you ask about arrangements, already planned activities. The probable answers will be:
- Yes, I'm going to the beach.
- No I still haven't planned anything yet.

Will you be doing anything interesting this weekend? - you ask about intentions, what a person is willing to do. You can form your question this way and the meaning will stay the same 'Do you want to do anything interesting this weekend'?
So, use present continuous when you ask about arrangements
and
future continuous when you ask about intentions.
Is my explanation useful or do you need further clarification on the subject?

Hello bellataylor,

Both of these are possible.

The first (are you doing...) is a question about arrangements and things which are already decided.

The second (will you be doing...) is a general question which could refer to plans, intentions or just hopes.

The difference in this context is tiny. It is really only about the kind of answers the speaker expects, and you can use them interchangeably.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

How can I send you an attachment with my question?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

There is no facility for sending attachments. We generally answer questions relating to our own material, not to materials (tests or other material) from elsewhere so if your question relates to something like that then I'm afraid it is outside of out area in any case.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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