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.
B 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 (Unit 9), present continuous (Unit 4) 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.)
C 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 (Unit 23) or the present continuous (Unit 26A) 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 cotnputer? ~ You can have it in a minute.
1 Will be doing (B)
Complete the conversation. Put in a pronoun and the future continuous form of the verb.
Daniel: I'm going to go into business when I leave college. Five years from now (►) I'll be running (I / run)
a big company. I expect (1) .. (I / earn) lots of money.
Vicky: I don't know what (2) (I / do). What about you, Natasha?
What (3).............................................. (you / do), do you think?
Natasha: I'm too lazy to do any work. I intend to marry someone very rich.
(4) . (I / give) dinner parties all the time. We'll have a cook
(5) .. (who / do) all the work, of course. And you'll both get invitations.
Vicky: You're joking, aren't you, Natasha? I expect (6) ..(you / play) in an
orchestra. That's what you really want to do, isn't it?
2 Will be doing (C)
Put in the answers. People are saying what they will be doing as part of their routine.
► David: When are you going to the club, do you know? (Nick goes to the club every Friday.)
Nick: I'll be going there next Friday.
1 Vicky: Are you likely to see Ilona in the near future? (Emma sees Ilona every day.)
You want to ask a friend to do something for you or to let you do something. Find out if it is convenient for your friend. Use the verbs in brackets.
► You want to have a look at your friend's magazine tonight, (read) Willyou be reading your magazine tonight?
1 You want your friend to take your library book back today, (go to)
2 You want your friend to send your best wishes to Vicky soon, (write to)
3 You want to use your friend's calculator this afternoon, (use)
4 You want your friend to give a photo to Daniel tomorrow, (see)
5 You want your friend to give you a lift to the festival, (drive)
6 You want your friend to give a message to her sister soon, (phone)
29 Will have done and was going to
We use will have + a past participle (the future perfect) for something that will be over in the future. Sarah is thinking of a future time (half past eight). At half past eight she will be able to say 'I have finished'.
Here are some more examples.
/ like looking at these pictures, but I'll have had enough by lunch-time.
Trevor and Laura will have lived here for four years next April.
This chess game is going to last ages. They won't have finished it until midnight.
Will you have read this book by the time it's due back to the library? ~ Yes. I'll have finished it by then. We often use the future perfect with expressions of time such as by lunch-time, until midnight, before then, by the time you have to take it back.
We can use be going to in the past tense to express an intention in the past. Trevor intended to put the shelves up yesterday. Often the intended action did not happen. In fact Trevor did not put the shelves up.
Here are some more examples.
/ was going to tidy the flat, but I didn't have time.
Daniel wasn't going to spend any money, but he saw a jacket he just had to buy.
The girls left early. They were going to catch the eight o'clock train.
So you went to the airport without a ticket. Where were you going to fly to?
The woman walked away just as I was going to speak to her. (just as = at the moment when)
We can also use was going to for a prediction in the past.
/ knew something was going to go wrong with the plan. Would has a similar meaning (see Unit 134C).
/ knew something would go wrong with the plan.
1 Will have done (A)
Paul wants to be an artist. He's reading about a famous artist called Winston Plummer.
Winston Plummer was a great artist, who had a wonderful career. He won lots of prizes before he was twenty. By the age of twenty-five he had had his own exhibition. He was the subject of a TV documentary by the time he was thirty. By the age of thirty-five he had become world-famous. He made millions of pounds from his pictures before he was forty.
Paul is daydreaming about his own future career. What is he thinking?
► I hope /'// have won lots of prizes before I'm twenty.
1 Perhaps ............... my own exhibition by the age of twenty-five.
2 I wonder if..................................................................................................... by the time I'm thirty.
3 Maybe .by the age of thirty-five.
4 I hope ...................................................................................................................................... by the age of forty.
2 Will have done (A)
How good is your maths? Can you work out the answers?
► It's quarter to six. Melanie is putting something in the oven.
It needs to be in the oven for an hour and a half. When will it have cooked? It will have cooked at quarter past seven.
1 It's seven o'clock in the evening, and Andrew is starting to write an essay. He writes one page every fifteen minutes. He plans to finish the essay at midnight. How many pages will he have written?
He will have written........................................ pages.
2 It's Monday morning, and Sarah is travelling to work. It's twenty miles from her home to the office. How far will she have travelled to and from work by the time she gets home on Friday?
3 Matthew is doing press-ups one every two seconds. How many will he have done after five minutes?
3 Was going to (B)
Complete the sentences. They are all about being just too late. Use was/were going to with these verbs: go, get, see, pick
► The train left just as Mike was going to get on it.
1 I'm afraid the shop closed just as we .in.
2 The phone stopped ringing just as Melanie ........................ ......... it up.
3 We . a film about the Mafia, but the tickets were sold out.
4 Was going to (B)
Trevor is always making excuses for not doing things. Complete his sentences.
► put up the shelves / not have any screws
Sorry. I was going to put up the shelves, but I didn't have any screws.