Unit 10. Will be doing and will have done.

First study this example situation:

Tom is a football fan, and there is a football game on television this evening. The game begins at 7:30 and ends at 9:15. Ann wants to go and see Tom this evening and wants to know what time to come over:

Ann: Is it all right if I come over at about 8:30?

Tom: No, don’t come then. I’ll be watching the game on TV.

Ann: Oh. Well, what about 9:30?

Tom: Yes, that’ll be fine. The game will have ended by then.

We use will be doing (future continuous) to say that we will be in the middle of doing something at a certain time in the future. The football game begins at 7:30 and ends at 9:15. So during this time, for example at 8:30, Tom will be watching the match. Here are some more examples:

  • You’ll recognize her when you see her. She’ll be wearing a yellow hat.

  • This time next week I’ll be on vacation. I’ll probably be lying on a beautiful beach.

    Compare will be doing with the other continuous forms: Bill works every morning from 9 o’clock until noon. So:

  • At 10 o’clock yesterday he was working, (past continuous – see Unit 12)

  • It’s 10 o’clock now. He is working, (present continuous – see Unit 1)

  • At 10 o’clock tomorrow he will be working.

    You can also use will be doing in another way: to talk about things that are already planned or decided:

  • I’ll be going downtown later. Can I get you anything? With this meaning will be doing is similar to am doing (see Unit 4a):

  • I’m going downtown later.

    We often use Will (you) be -ing? to ask about people’s plans, especially when we want something or want someone to do something:

  • “Will you be using your bicycle this evening?” “No, you can take it.”

  • “Will you be passing the post office when you go out?” “Yes, why?”

    We use will have done (future perfect) to say that something will already have happened before a certain time in the future. Tom’s football game ends at 9:15. So after this time, for example at 9:30, the game will have ended. Here are some more examples:

  • Next year is Ted and Amy’s 25th wedding anniversary. They will have been married for 25 years. (Now they have been married for 24 years.)

  • We’re late. I guess the movie will already have started by the time we get to the theater.
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