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    #1

    Post 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    I have been working hard to try to figure out the difference between 'will be doing' and 'will do' in expressions. Statements below in parenthereses is a difference I get and please correct it if I don't get it right. Thank you!

    A: My family is going to Bali during winter vacation.
    B: How long will you be staying in Bali?
    A: We'll be staying there for one week.

    (Here if we used 'how long will you stay in Bali' instead of 'how long will you be staying in Bali', it won't be appropriate. Because 'how long will you be staying' gives us a sense of asking somebody's previous arrangements, not the decision just made at the moment of speaking.

    We can use 'how long are you staying in Bali?' or 'how long are you going to stay in Bali?' to express the same idea.) ()
    Last edited by Heidi; 15-Nov-2011 at 10:28.

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    #2

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Either alternative is acceptable.


    John

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    #3

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Either alternative is acceptable.


    John
    Do you mean either 'how long will you be staying in Bali?' or 'how long will you stay in Bali?' is acceptable?

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    #4

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    'how long will you be staying in Bali?' and 'how long will you stay in Bali?' are both acceptable.

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    #5

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    The modal auxiliary verb will has a number of possible meanings.These include:
    certainty John left an hour ago, so he will be home by now. (The speaker is certain that John is home)
    volition (willingness): Ill carry your bag for you. (The speaker is offering to carry the bag.) Fred will carry your bag for you. (The speaker is offering Freds services.)
    instant decision: What will I do tomorrow? I know! Ill go to the zoo. (The speaker decides to go to the zoo at the very moment of speaking no plans had been made for this visit.)

    The most likely meaning in the following sentence is that it is an enquiry about a future certainty, though it could, just, in the right context, be about the person's willingness:

    How long will you stay in Bali?


    With modal will + a progressive (continuous) form it is possible that the speaker is more concerned with the pure certainty of the action happening than with volitional aspect that might be implied by the use of WILL by itself:

    How long will you be staying in Bali?

    Some writers claim, with some justification, that the use of modal will + a progressive implies, by its lack of reference to intention, volition or arrangement, a 'casual' future.

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    #6

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    You will hear:

    How long are you staying in Bali?
    How long will you stay in Bali?
    How long will you be staying in Bali?
    How long are you going to stay in Bali?
    How long are you planning to stay in Bali?
    How you do you plan to stay in Bali?
    How long are you going to Bali for?

    They're all correct and for most native speakers, there is very little difference in meaning. The only exception would be the last one which could only be asked before someone leaves for their trip to Bali. The others could all be asked either before the trip or once the responder had arrived in Bali.

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    #7

    Post Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Thank you so much for all your detailed explanations.

    I have another question about the use of the future progressive.

    I've heard a teacher say many times at the beginning of a class "today, I'm going to be talking about ...".

    After your explanation, I know there's very little difference in meaning between 'I'm going to talk about...', 'I'll be talking about...' and 'I'm talking about...'. But I would like to know if I say in class "today, I'm going to be talking about...", does it suggest that I'm going to talk about something because I had planned to, it's something that I had planned to talk about before the class ? If I say "today, I'm talking about...", does it also imply the same idea of previous arrangement?

    Last edited by Heidi; 17-Nov-2011 at 08:28.

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    #8

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    I have been working hard to try to figure out the difference between 'will be doing' and 'will do' in expressions. Statements below in parenthereses is a difference I get and please correct it if I don't get it right. Thank you!

    A: My family is going to Bali during winter vacation.
    B: How long will you be staying in Bali?
    A: We'll be staying there for one week.

    (Here if we used 'how long will you stay in Bali' instead of 'how long will you be staying in Bali', it won't be appropriate. Because 'how long will you be staying' gives us a sense of asking somebody's previous arrangements, not the decision just made at the moment of speaking.

    We can use 'how long are you staying in Bali?' or 'how long are you going to stay in Bali?' to express the same idea.) ()
    Yes, you have understood and expressed the relevant distinctions very well!

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    #9

    Post Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Thanks again!

    I have an idea. Lst's forget about all the grammar rules for now. There are two situations below, would you please tell me that if you were Jenny, which version of question would you prefer? Thank you!

    #1 (Susan is using the computer now, and Jenny needs to use it. Jenny asks:)
    v1, - How much longer will you be using the computer?
    v2, - How much longer will you use the computer?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #2 (Jenny is looking forward to graduating. She asks her teacher:)
    v1 - How soon will we be graduating?
    v2 - How soon will we graduate?
    Last edited by Heidi; 21-Nov-2011 at 08:26.

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    #10

    Re: 'will be doing' & 'will do'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Thanks again!

    I have an idea. Lst's forget about all the grammar rules for now. There are two situations below, would you please tell me that if you were Jenny, which version of question would you prefer? Thank you!

    #1 (Susan is using the computer now, and Jenny needs to use it. Jenny asks:)
    v1, - How much longer will you be using the computer?
    v2, - How much longer will you use the computer?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #2 (Jenny is looking forward to graduating. She asks her teacher:)
    v1 - How soon will we be graduating?
    v2 - How soon will we graduate?
    #1
    If I assumed that she had already formulated some kind of intention regarding the length of time, I would use v1. Otherwise, v2, effectively requesting that she decide then and there.
    #2
    v1. The question is one that presumably has a predetermined answer. We would hardly be likely to be requesting the teacher to make some form of prediction, as if concerning next week's weather!

    Incidentally, you might be interested to note that 'grammar rules' as such have no bearing on this kind of choice. Essentially, as long as a sentence is structurally possible, it is perforce grammatical! The issue therefore is not grammatical correctness but communicative appropriateness, an aspect of semantico-pragmatics.

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