will be doing and will have done

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Study this example situation:

These people are standing in a queue to get into the cinema.

Half an hour from now, the cinema will be full. Everyone will be watching the film.

Three hours from now, the cinema will be empty.
The film will have finished.
Everyone will have gone home.

I will be doing something (future continuous) = I will be in the middle of doing it:

  • This time next week I’ll be on holiday. I’ll be lying on the beach or swimming in the sea.
  • You have no chance of getting the job. You’ll be wasting your time if you apply.

Compare will be (do)ing and will (do):

  • Don’t phone between 7 and 8. We’ll be eating.
  • Let’s wait for Liz to arrive and then we’ll eat.

Compare:

  • At 10 o’clock yesterday, Tina was in her off ice. She was working. (past continuous) It’s 10 o’clock now. She is in her off ice. She is working. (present continuous) At 10 o’clock tomorrow, she will be in her off ice. She will be working. (future continuous)

We also use will be -ing to talk about complete actions in the future. For example:

  • The government will be making a statement about the crisis later today.
  • Later in the programme, I’ll be talking to the Minister of Education.
  • The team’s star player is injured and won’t be playing in the game on Saturday.

When we use it in this way, will be (doing) is similar to will (do) and going to (do).

I will have done something (future perfect) = it will be complete before a time in the future. For example:

  • Sally always leaves for work at 8.30 in the morning. She won’t be at home at 9 o’clock – she’ll have gone to work.
  • We’re late. The film will already have started by the time we get to the cinema.

Compare:

  • Ted and Amy have been married for 24 years. (present perfect) Next year they will have been married for 25 years. (future perfect) When their son was born, they had been married for three years. (past perfect)

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