Archive for June 20, 2011

the difference between words: will and will be + ing

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Today I’d like to write about the difference between two grammar forms that are about the future: “will” and “will be” + ing. Generally, we use “will” to talk about future events in general, but we use “will be” + ing when we want to focus on a specific time or event in the future. For example:

A: What will you do tomorrow?

B: I’ll work tomorrow.

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A: What will you be doing at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow?

B: I’ll be working at that time.

So, in this case, the two speakers are focusing on the specific time of 2:00 and contrasting that with what will happen during the whole day.

However, we can also say something like:

A: What will you be doing tomorrow?

B: I’ll be working all day tomorrow.

In this case, the speakers are focusing on tomorrow as a unit of time and contrasting that with what will happen during the whole week or month.

Here are some other ways in which we use “will” and “will be” + ing when talking about the future:

I’ll probably be asleep by the time you get home, so please don’t make too much noise.

I’ll probably be sleeping by the time you get home, so please don’t make too much noise.

I will have a meeting with my boss tomorrow about my business trip.

When you get up tomorrow, I’ll be talking with my boss about my business trip.

The plane will land soon, so please fasten your seatbelts.

We will be landing in about fifteen minutes, so please fasten your seatbelts.

We can also use “will be” + ing to talk about future events which are already fixed or decided. For example:

A: What will you be doing at the conference?

B: I’ll be giving a presentation about our new product.

I’ll be working at our new branch tomorrow, so you can reach me there.

My husband got a promotion at work. From now on, he’ll be heading the marketing department at his company.

So, in these cases, the event has already been decided on in the past, and now it is a firm plan.

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