The Future Continuous Tense

By | April 16, 2015

It may be useful to try to understand the future continuous tense in the same way as you understand the past continuous tense. The concept is similar. The difference lies in the time of the event. Just shift your mind, and put that concept in the future.

Observe the following sentence:

At 6 PM this morning, Ani was eating breakfast.

Note that the action happened in the past. Ani started to eat before 6 PM, and she was still in the process of eating breakfast at 6 PM. She was not finished.

Now, look at the following sentence:

At 6 PM tonight, Ani will be eating dinner.

Note that the action happens in the future. Ani will start to eat before 6 PM tonight, and she will still be in the process of eating dinner at 6 PM tonight. The action will continue to happen after 6 PM).

Once again, observe the following sentence:

When I arrived last night, Ani was watching TV.

Note that both of the actions happened in the past. The action in the past continuous tense – the longer action (watching TV) – was interrupted by a shorter action in the simple past tense – I arrived last night. The sentence implies that Ani started watching TV before I arrived, and she was still in the process of watching when I arrived.

Now put that concept in the future time. Observe the following sentence:

When I arrive tonight, Ani will be watching TV.

Note that both of the actions happen in the future. The action in the future continuous tense – the longer action (watching TV) – will be interrupted by a shorter action the simple present tense – I arrive tonight. The sentence implies that Ani will start to watch TV before I arrive, and she will still be in the process of watching TV when I arrive. She will not be finished yet)

So, if you understand how to use the past continuous tense, you will find it easier to understand how to use the future continuous tense.

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