The Future Progressive Verb Form

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A verb construction (made up of the verb phrase "will be" or "shall be" plus a present participle). Also called the future continuous.

The future progressive conveys a sense of ongoing action at a particular future time or during a span of time in the future.

Examples of the Future Progressive

  • Your mother will be worrying about you, Gertrude.
  • "We'll make up extra veils and arm bands, and our members will be waiting to distribute them."
    (Maya Angelou, The Heart of a Woman. Random House, 1981)
  • "She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes."
    ("Coming 'Round the Mountain," American folk song)
  • "The old will be watching their contemporaries and wondering how long it will be before their turn comes, hoping their bladders will hold out, and the young will be watching the old."
    (P. D. James, A Taste for Death. Random House, 2007)
  • "In another five hours we will be in a landing-craft racing towards the coast. I wonder where I will be and what I will be doing this time tomorrow. I am ready now."
    (Anthony M. Cooper, Somehow They Knew. Trafford, 2006)
  • "We're going to raise crops here where before it just simply was impossible. You're going to have more grain than you'll know what to do with. Bread will be coming right out of your ears, ma'am."
    (Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood, 2007)
  • The Future and the Future Progressive
    "In some cases the simple future and the future progressive tenses express very similar situations or actions, especially when the future action takes place at an indefinite time in the future. In the following examples, note that both sentences express an almost identical situation: We can't say for sure at what time Tyler is coming, but he is expected soon:
    - Tyler will come soon.
    - Tyler will be coming soon."
    (Robin Torres-Gouzerh, Intermediate English Grammar for ESL Learners. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008)
  • "Every breath you take
    Every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take,
    I'll be watching you."
    (Sting, "Every Breath You Take," 1983)
  • "I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."
    (Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken." Mountain Interval, 1920)
  • "Pray for me. I shall remember you. Let us so live that when we get to heaven, we shall be looking for one another."
    (George Thompson, Prison Life and Reflections, 1857)
  • "We shall be talking about the defects in the structure of the language we use in daily life and how this literally warps the functioning of our nervous system; yet to do this we shall have to use both this defective language and a nervous system already damaged by it."
    (Harry L. Weinberg, Levels of Knowing and Existence: Studies in General Semantics, 1959)

The Double Auxiliary Rule for Questions and Negations

  • "You will notice that the future progressive has two auxiliaries: will and be. . . . [W]henever there is more than one auxiliary verb present, only the first auxiliary is moved to the initial position: The children will be sleeping by 10. → Will the children be sleeping by 10? [W]hen there is more than one auxiliary, not comes after the first auxiliary (or attaches to it if it is a contraction)."
    (Andrea DeCapua, Grammar for Teachers. Springer, 2008)
  • Will she be coming around the mountain when she comes?
  • She will not be coming around the mountain this afternoon.
  • Hannibal Lecter won't be cooking dinner tonight.
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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "The Future Progressive Verb Form." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Nordquist, Richard. (2020, August 27). The Future Progressive Verb Form. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "The Future Progressive Verb Form." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).