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Future Progressive

The Future Progressive Tense indicates continuing action, something that will be happening, going on, at some point in the future. This tense is formed with the modal "will" plus "be," plus the present participle of the verb (with an -ing ending): "I will be running in next year's Boston Marathon.

Future Progressive - Drawing attention to expected experiences

The future progressive is commonly used to describe a process, or continuous action, that will occur in the future, with no definite endpoint in time. One could say, for example, you will be sleeping at your friend's house tomorrow. This simply calls attention to the situation you will experience in the future.

This is basically what the future progressive is meant for: to allow you to talk about some experience you're expected to have. The future progressive is constructed as: the phrase "will be", plus the present participle (the "-ing" form) of the relevant verb. 

Examples and usage rules

Here is an example for you of the correct use of the future progressive: 

"The man is excited because he will be seeing his long-distance girlfriend over the holiday weekend."

In this sentence, the construction "will be seeing" is good use of the future progressive.

Now, here is an example of the future progressive being used in an incorrect way

"The woman said that she will be running for mayor last year, but that she was uncertain about how much good she could really do."

This sentence makes no sense, because the future progressive is apparently being used to describe a past situation (i.e. past tense). 

Here are a couple guidelines you can follow in order to make sure that you are using the future progressive in a correct way. 

  1. The future progressive refers to an ongoing experience or action that will happen in the future. The action must be in the future, and it must have no definite endpoint (and it also can't be an action that just happens at a singular instant). You have to think about whether a given action meets these requirements before you make use of the future progressive. 
  2. The construction of the simple future progressive is really a very simple thing. Just as with the future perfect progressive, though, you should know that you can't use the verb "to be" with this grammatical form. For example, you can't say that you will be being happy tomorrow. You would drop "being" and just say that you will be happy tomorrow. 

Background information on future progressive

As with all the progressive tenses, the future progressive tense serves the special function of calling primary attention to an ongoing situation, or a phenomenological experience that a given person is having (or has had, or will have). This is the main thing that separates the progressive tenses from other tenses, and the future progressive tense from the future perfect or simple future tenses.

If you say something "will have" happened, you call attention merely to the last moment of the event; you focus the whole event into a single moment. But if you say something "will be happening", then you focus on the experience a given person will have of the event. 

In a way, then, the future progressive (like the other progressives) can be said to open time up. If a person says he will be sleeping at a friend's house tomorrow, this just implies that he knows he will be having a certain experience; it does not imply any kind of means-end thinking, or even that the experience will ever have end. Likewise, the future progressive also implicitly invites the listener to imagine what the speaker himself will be experiencing in the future. 

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