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    Exclamation Future will and future continous

    Hello, I'm new at this forum and I have a question about two future tenses, the future simple and the future continuous.

    I've just learned the future continous and the future perfect and I don't have any problems by choosing between them, but when it comes to choose between future simple and future continous I'm never sure about which one is the best option. I was wondering if there are some rules that I can use in order to choose a tense because I didn't find anything on my book or in the internet.

    For example I dont know how to complete this phrase: I _______ (dinner) here tomorrow. I can say I will be having dinner here tomorrow, and I can say, I will have dinner here tomorrow. How do I decide?

    Thanks in advance, Julio.

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    Re: Future will and future continous

    Welcome to the forum, Julio.

    Both forms are possible in your dinner sentence.

    will + bare infinitive

    The modal auxiliary verb will has a number of possible meanings. Four of the more common are:

    a. certainty – John left an hour ago, so he will be home by now. (The speaker is certain that John is home)
    b. habitual characteristic: Andrea will sit at her desk for hours without saying a word. (This is what she often does.)
    c. volition (willingness): I’ll carry your bag for you. (The speaker is offering to carry the bag.)
    .......................................Fred will carry your bag for you. (The speaker is offering Fred’s services.)
    d. instant decision: What will I do tomorrow? I know! I’ll 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.)

    Context tells us whether the certainty (a) is about the present, as in the example above, or the future: Prince Charles will become King when the present Queen dies.

    Habitual characteristic (b) is something that is shown regularly. It was observed in the past, can be observed in the present, and will presumably be observed in the future. It is not possible to know of a future habitual characteristic, so we do not use this form for purely future reference.

    Volition (c), denoting an offer, can refer only to a future situation. Will is normally contracted to ‘ll.
    Instant decisions (d) can be made only about a future situation and, usually, only reported by the person making the decision. We therefore usually encounter this meaning only with I or we as the subject. Will is normally contracted to ‘ll.

    The word tomorrow in the following sentence tells us that the seeing (meeting) is in the future:
    Emma will see Luke tomorrow.

    Only context can tell us whether the speaker is certain of the occurrence of the future meeting, or reporting that Emma is willing to see Luke.

    Note that other modals, which have different meanings, can also can also refer to future situations, for example:
    Peter might come over next week. (It is possible that this will happen)
    You must finish the report before you go home tonight. (You are obliged to finish the report.) )

    You may read in some books that shall is used instead of will when the subject is I or we. Only a small minority of native speakers use shall other than in questions, and then only for certainty and instant decision, never for volition or habitual characteristic. Shall is used commonly in questions:

    e) making a suggestion: Shall we go to the pub this evening?
    f) asking if the person addressed wants the speaker to do something: Shall I arrangethe publicity?

    + be + -
    ing form
    Progressive forms usually refer to a situation that began before a time point, continues through and after that time point, and into the future, and is of limited duration. The combination of this idea with the modal will, expressing certainty, leads to the modal will + be + -ing form referring to a situation beginning before a future time point and continuing through that time point:

    Sally’s plane takes off from Heathrow at 9 o’clock tomorrow, so by about midday she will be flying over Istanbul.

    It is also 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:
    Emma will be seeing Luke tomorrow.

    Some writers claim, with some justification, that this use of modal will + a progressive implies, by its lack of reference to intention, volition or arrangement, a 'casual' future. Depending on the context and co-text, the speaker may be intending a ‘casual’ futurity, or may be indicating a situation in progress at a particular time.
    Last edited by Piscean; 23-Nov-2016 at 20:01. Reason: minor typo

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    Re: Future will and future continous

    Thanks you a lot for your explanation, now I think that I can tell the difference between this tenses. I can see all the effort that you have taken to make this explanation and I'm really grateful for this.

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