Future Progressive Tense in English Grammar

Introduction

The future progressive tense, also future continuous tense, expresses a continuing action that will be in progress at a future time. The future progressive tense in English grammar is formed with will + be + present participle or ing-form.

Learn how to conjugate positive, negative and interrogative sentences in the English future progressive tenses with Lingolia’s grammar lesson. In the exercises, you can put your grammar skills to the test.

Example

Mrs Nelson is getting ready for her bingo night. She goes there every Wednesday.

In an hour she will be sitting at her table with her friends. They will be talking. They will be playing bingo. And she will be seeing Charles, a good-looking pensioner she met there last week.

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Usage

We use the English future progressive tense to:

  • emphasises the progression of an action in the future
    Example:
    In an hour she will be sitting at her table with her friends. They will be talking. They will be playing bingo.
  • express a future action that we expect to happen
    Example:
    And she will be seeing Charles, a good-looking pensioner she met there last week.

Conjugation of English Future Progressive Tense

To conjugate the future progressive tense we follow the rule: will + be + present participle or ing-form. The conjugation is that same for all forms. The table below provides an overview of the future progressive tense in positive, negative and interrogative sentences.

positive negative question
all forms are the same I will be speaking I will not be speaking Will I be speaking?

Exceptions

The present participle is generally formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • An -e at the end of the word is removed, but -ee, -oe and -ye remain unchanged.
    Example:
    come – coming
    but: agree – agreeing
  • A consonant that follows a short stressed vowel is doubled. However, -w, -x and -y are not doubled.
    Example:
    sit – sitting
    but: mix – mixing
  • An -l as a final consonant after a vowel is always doubled in British English but not in American English.
    Example:
    travel – travelling (British)
    traveling (American)
  • An -ie at the end of the word is replaced with a -y
    Example:
    lie – lying

Contractions

Contractions are a combination of certain pronouns, verbs and the word not. They are mostly used in spoken and informal written English. The table below provides an overview of contractions in the future progressive with the verb will.

long formcontractionexample
will …’ll they’ll
will not …’ll not/… won’t I’ll not/I won’t

Negated Contractions

In written English, we usually use contractions after pronouns, but not after nouns.

Example:
Unfortunately, she’ll not be sitting next to Charles.
(but not: Unfortunately, the woman’ll/Mrs Nelson’ll not be sitting next to Charles.)

Negated contractions, which are a combination of an auxiliary verb and not, can always be used.

Example:
Unfortunately, she won’t be sitting next to Charles.
Unfortunately, the woman/Mrs Nelson won’t be sitting next to Charles.

Signal Words

Signal words can help us to recognise the tense in a sentence. The signal words for the future progressive are:

  • at 4 o’clock tomorrow
  • this time next week