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Future continuous vs. Future simple



 
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ESL Forums | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
Prefixes and suffixes: -dis, -un, -im, -in, -ir; -ful, -ness, -less, -ion, -y, -a | Meaning of "Tim lapsed into a frosty silence"
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Future continuous vs. Future simple #1 (permalink) Tue Nov 07, 2006 19:16 pm   Future continuous vs. Future simple
 

Hi

Sorry, I remember that a similar question (at least, with a particular Continuous-tense example) was asked here, but Iíve now failed to find that thread. :(
But still need a validation. :)

My example sentences are:

1.
a) My carís broken down, so Iíll go to work on the bus next week.
b) My carís broken down, so Iíll be going to work on the bus next week.

My suggestion is that both are possible, but the second makes emphasis on (loooong) duration. Some emotional feeling, perhaps displeasure.
From the first sentence we canít know whether itís that bad. :)

2.
Son. Iím really sorry, Dad. Iíll be home in about twenty minutes.
Dad
a) Yes, well your mother and I'll wait for you.
b) Yes, well your mother and I'll be waiting for you.

Again, my suggestion is that although both are correct, the second is more emotional (expressing the (unpleasant) duration of waiting. Probably, it means for the boy that he will be given a scolding. :)
Whereas the first is rather neutral.

3.
a) Can you call me a bit later [than itís been suggested]? Iíll have my dinner at that time.
b) Ö Iíll be having my dinner at that time.

HmmÖ The second is obviously good (? :)), but the firstÖ
My confusing with the sentence is because, as I understand, in English the phrase means that "I" will start my dinner Ďat that timeí.
Like I have breakfast at 7 a.m. means that I (usually) start breakfast at 7 a.m.

Can 3a be considered as correct?
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Future continuous vs. Future simple #2 (permalink) Tue Nov 07, 2006 19:50 pm   Future continuous vs. Future simple
 

Hi Tamara

As I'm sure you know, there are a number of different ways to use will and your sentences use (or try to use) will differently.
Quote:
1.
a) My carís broken down, so Iíll go to work on the bus next week.
b) My carís broken down, so Iíll be going to work on the bus next week.

a) You should only use will in this sentence if it is the exact moment that you make the decision to go by bus or if you're not yet 100% sure about going by bus. (In the latter situation, the word "probably" would also be typical in the sentence). I assume neither of these was your intended meaning.

b) This is a normal usage of the future continuous: to refer to a decision that has been made about a future activity. It refers to a future activity that will be taking place during a future time. For me this is a very neutral usage.

Also, compare what pilots say in their announcements at the beginning of a flight:

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen...(blah, blah)... Today we'll be flying at 30,000 feet. (blah, blah)..."

This has no exaggerated feeling of duration of time, but rather refers to a standard sort of decision that has been made about the flight. (This is an "activity" that has already begun, but the 30,000 feet has not yet been reached, so that part is still in the future.)

You could also use the "be going to" future above if you want to talk about your intention to take the bus:
My carís broken down, so Iím going to go to work on the bus next week.

Quote:
2.
Son. Iím really sorry, Dad. Iíll be home in about twenty minutes.
Dad
a) Yes, well your mother and I'll wait for you.
b) Yes, well your mother and I'll be waiting for you.


a) This use of will shows either willingness or a promise (OR the decision to wait is being made at the moment of speaking.) The use of will is fine here.

b) The future continuous is also OK. In this case, the duration of the wait is stressed. It may or may not have a negative aspect. This would depend entirely on the circumstances and the tone of voice. It could just as possibly be a very positive statement.

Quote:
3.
a) Can you call me a bit later [than itís been suggested]? Iíll have my dinner at that time.
b) Ö Iíll be having my dinner at that time.


a) Will is clearly wrong here. You are not making a spontaneous decision, and you are not talking about willingness or a promise. You are referring to a plan and will doesn't work for that.

b) This is also a typical use for the future continuous: to talk about a future activity that will be in progress at a future time.

Hope that helps
Amy
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Future #3 (permalink) Tue Nov 07, 2006 20:04 pm   Future
 

Hi Tamara,

I think the best way to distinguish simple from continuous is that the simple form is as it suggests referring simply to what happens next but the continuous indicates or suggests a picture of activity in the future.

I could suggest a piece on Future that I'v written for the site: Future Tenses
http://www.english- test.net/lessons/20/index.html

A
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Future continuous vs. Future simple #4 (permalink) Tue Nov 07, 2006 22:19 pm   Future continuous vs. Future simple
 

Hi

Alan, yes, this is an excellent and very useful piece on Future (I remember that I read it last summer, more than one time :) and have just re-read it now), but I didn't find use of Future Continuous there.

Thanks a lot, Amy, for your detailed answer!
Quote:
Iíll have my dinner at that time.

a) Will is clearly wrong here. You are not making a spontaneous decision, and you are not talking about willingness or a promise. You are referring to a plan and will doesn't work for that.

plan...
Can I then use '... Iím going to have my dinner that time.'
or '... Iím having my dinner that time.'
?

Yankee wrote:
This is a normal usage of the future continuous: to refer to a decision that has been made about a future activity. It refers to a future activity that will be taking place during a future time.
Alan wrote:
Öbut the continuous indicates or suggests a picture of activity in the future.

Thanks for that ('picture of activity'), indeed.
This is actually a good rule!

Tamara
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Tamara
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Future continuous vs. Future simple #5 (permalink) Sat May 02, 2009 6:10 am   Future continuous vs. Future simple
 

can you explian when we use future simple and future progressive ?
thanks
Afnan
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Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Prefixes and suffixes: -dis, -un, -im, -in, -ir; -ful, -ness, -less, -ion, -y, -a | Meaning of "Tim lapsed into a frosty silence"
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