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Also Known As: Future Progressive Tense

The next tense is the future continuous tense, which is also sometimes called the future progressive tense, is a tense that indicates that something has started in the past and will continue happening for a length of time into the future. The future continuous tense has not stopped happening. It indicates progression and that progression continues from the past and will continue into the future. 

The future progressive tense uses the words “will+be+ (ing verb). “I will be running in a marathon next March. “Will be running”  is the future continuous form of the verb “run.” “Will be” combined with the present participle to form the future continuous phrase indicating that the marathon will take place sometime in the future, but has not been fulfilled yet. 

There are several common uses for the future progressive or the future continuous tense. We will discuss each of these in detail and give examples below. The future progressive makes use of two overlapping time periods or it implies a prediction that will be fulfilled at some point in the future. The future progressive can imply a contingency without using the actual word “if.”

To Form the Future Perfect Progressive Tense

The future perfect progressive is formed with two parts; the future perfect of the verb “to be” (will have been) + the present participle of the main verb (base + ing). These are put together to form the future perfect progressive tense. While not always necessary, most future progressive sentences need a preposition and a time period to be a complete sentence. 

She will have been studying Spanish for ten years. 

A sentence would fit together like this: Subject+ will have been+ present participle.

To form a question simply add “Will” at the beginning of the sentence.

To form a negative add “not”.

For example: 

Statement Question Negative
I will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will I have been jumping (preposition + time period)? I will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
You will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will you have been jumping (preposition + time period)? You will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
She will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will she have been jumping (preposition + time period)? She will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
He will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will he have been jumping (preposition + time period)? He will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
They will have been jumping (preposition + time period).  Will they have been jumping (preposition + time period)? They will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
We will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will we have been jumping (preposition + time period)? We will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).
It will have been jumping (preposition + time period). Will it have been jumping (preposition + time period)? It will not have been jumping (preposition + time period).

 

Function

Similar to the future perfect simple tense, this form is used to speak about ourselves in the future, although it differs in that it can reflect backward in time as well.

Another similarity it has to the future progressive is that it speaks of two overlapping time periods at the same time. It implicates events or actions that are currently ongoing, have not been completed yet, but will be completed at a point in the future.

Examples

I will have been waiting here for hours. 

I will have been living in New York for six years in July.

I will have been learning Tae Kwan Do for three years next week.

Next year I will have been working here for four years.

When to Use the Future Perfect Progressive Tense

The future perfect progressive tense is most often used to express actions that will last for a particular time at a moment in the future. Most of the time when using this, it is referring to a specifically marked time period.  This tense is also used to show cause and effect.

To Talk About Two Specific Overlapping Time Periods

This is in reference to an action that will occur in the future. The action that will take place that is being talked about has not yet occurred or has not been completed., When this action occurs in the future, it will express a specific amount of time.

Ex: We will have been waiting for two hours when the bus is scheduled to arrive.

In this example, the action that will occur in the future is waiting. The waiting is given a specific timeframe. It will happen in a span of two hours. When the bus arrives, we will have been there for two hours and so are communicating that there will be a period of waiting.

We Can Use the Future Perfect Continuous to Talk About Cause and Effect

The future perfect progressive explains the cause of an event that has not yet taken place and what its possible effect may be. This means that something in the future has not yet occurred but is likely to be the cause of another action that will also occur in the future.

Ex: We will be very late because we will have been watching TV instead of getting on our way.

The cause is watching TV, the effect is being late. Both of these actions will occur at some point in the future. Examples include:

Example: Prediction:
We will be tired because we will have been traveling for many hours.     We expect to be tired because we will have been traveling for a long time. 
After Thanksgiving, we will be stuffed because we will have been eating a lot of food . If all goes as we expect, we will eat a lot of food during Thanksgiving.

 

Cause and effect is probably one of the most common ways to use the future perfect progressive. It is talking about if/then predictions without using the words if/then.

This allows the speaker to comment and predict different possibilities that they wish to communicate to the hearer. The hearer may then communicate back in possibilities as well, and the conversations may  be used to communicate theories, possibilities, and predictions for events that will likely occur in a certain manner at a further point in the future.

More Examples of Future Perfect Progressive

I will have been traveling to New York for several days by the time I arrive.

We will have been going to the same mall for twenty years in May, and it is sad that it is set to be closed. 

We will be very tired after we have been working out for two hours . 

He will have been eating that leftover food from Thanksgiving for three days. 

They will have been working on the project for nine hours when the equipment will become available. 

A Note on Using the Future Perfect Progressive Tense

Very often the future progressive tense appears with prepositional phrases and time periods. It quite often needs subordinating conjunctions such as “because” as well.  The Prepositional phrases may come before or after the subject. The phrases add more detail to the contingencies and the predictive nature of the future progressive tense. 

For Example: 

In two months, I will have been living in Alaska for three years. 

I will have been traveling for ten hours by the time I arrive in Argentina. 

He will be tired because he will be working out so much.

The prepositional phrases may occur at the beginning or the end of the sentences such as: 

By 2025, I will have been running my own business for a decade. 

In a year, I will have been working at my current job for much longer than I intended. 

Or: 

I will have been running my own business for a decade, by 2025. 

I will have been working at my current job much longer than intended in a year. 

The prepositional phrases either at the beginning, middle or the end of the sentences add to the understanding of the sentences in ways that wouldn’t be easily understood otherwise. The time period phrases are also very important to show the clarity of the sentences.

The future perfect progressive also makes frequent use of subordinating conjunctions such as “because” in order to show cause and effect.

All sentences that use the future perfect progressive deal with the future. The sentences specifically note the potential actions that will have been occurring for some time when the overlapping time period that indicates their conclusion occurs.

They also show cause and effect. All of these sentences are used to improve the understanding of the hearer and to make the statement that is being written about the future more clear.

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