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. 


Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Thank you. I understand what you mean and you seem to be right. However, in these examples (which have also been cited in my previous message) Future Progressive isn't used despite the fact that the sentences imply a change and development contrasted with the present :)
- In 50 years' time most rich people will live until they are over 100. (instead of "will be living")
- The development of intelligent cars means that, by 2030, they will drive themselves. (instead of "will be driving")

Hello again EvgenyAndreev
I can't say for sure without knowing the context and the speaker's intentions, but I suppose that in both of these sentences, the speaker is looking at these future situations as mere facts. For example, perhaps the first sentence is one of a long list of predictions about the world in 50 years; the second one could also be part of a series of descriptions of how cars will develop over the next 20 years. In either of these cases, a simple form would be more likely. Please note, however, that this doesn't exclude the use of a continuous form. There can be some overlap between them.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you. I find your explanations very helpful!

No grammar book (and I've got about a dozen of them) explains the difference between Future Simple and Progressive in similar sentences and why they can be used interchangeably. That's why I decided to ask my questions here, and now I seem to understand that, thanks to you.

Would you ever use 'would' in a future perfect construction? Is there a rule, e.g. By the time I am 30 years old I will have owned a Ferrari. Or would it be: By the time I am 30 years old I would have owned a Ferrari.

Hello Jennief
'would have owned' doesn't work with 'by the time I am' because 'would have owned' refers to an (unreal) imaginary time and 'by the time I am' refers to a (real) future time. You could say, for example, 'I would have owned a Ferrari when I was 30 is I hadn't been sacked.' This refers to an unreal past time, i.e. a past in which you were not sacked.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

What is the difference between the following sentence?

When will you be arriving?
When are you going to arrive?

Hello Montri,
Both sentences describe future time and have similar meanings.
The first sentence ('...will be arriving') describes something that is expected. We use this form to describe things that we see as normal and unsurprising in the future.
The second sentence ('...going to...') describes a person's intention or plan.
You can read more about ways of talking about the future on these pages:
The LearnEnglish Team