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    #1

    Smile will be ~ing

    A: How old is your baby?
    B: Baby? Are you kidding? she will be starting school soon. Besides, she will be meeting many friends and beginning her new life.

    ----------------------------
    Hi,
    Before asking a question, I just want to say "thank you" to UsingEnglish teachers for awesome answers they've explained.

    Many English grammar books say "will be ~ing" as a 'future progressive'. For example,

    I will be watching TV when 8 pm.

    Above sentence is pretty clear. At 8 pm, the speaker will be middle of watching TV.

    However, I have no idea why red-colored things were used. Do they have a sort of progressive meaning? (I think NO) What is the difference when 'will start,' 'will meet' and 'will begin' are used instead of them.

    I've seen a lot of cases in which 'will be ~ing' form is used in not only spoken English, but also written English. I'd like to know what 'will be verb + ing' sounds like compared with 'will (the same verb)'.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: will be ~ing

    Quote Originally Posted by soleiljy View Post
    A: How old is your baby?
    B: Baby? Are you kidding? she will be starting school soon. Besides, she will be meeting many friends and beginning her new life.
    .

    ----------------------------
    Hi,
    Before asking a question, I just want to say "thank you" to UsingEnglish teachers for awesome answers they've explained.

    Many English grammar books say "will be ~ing" as a 'future progressive'. For example,

    I will be watching TV when 8 pm. Say "...at 8 pm.

    The above sentence is pretty clear. At 8 pm, the speaker will be middle of watching TV.

    However, I have no idea why red-colored things were used. Do they have a sort of progressive meaning? (I think NO) What is the difference when 'will start,' 'will meet' and 'will begin' are used instead of them.
    Of course you can say 'will start', 'will meet' and '(will) begin', and the meanings will be the same unless you want to argue about progression versus no progression.
    Some people may argue that "starting" and "beginning" can be progressive but I agree with you that they aren't really progressive actions. (Of course "meeting" can be more legitimately progressive.)
    Progressive tense is just another way of expressing oneself, but if you agree that most of those verbs aren't really progressive and if you believe in simplicity (of tense) and using the fewest number of words to express yourself, you can say that using the present tense has more merit.


    I've seen a lot of cases in which 'will be ~ing' form is used in not only spoken English, but also written English. I'd like to know what 'will be verb + ing' sounds like compared with 'will (the same verb)'.

    Thanks.
    2006

  1. jerry081958's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: will be ~ing

    Original:

    A: How old is your baby?
    B: Baby? Are you kidding? she will be starting school soon. Besides, she will be meeting many friends and beginning her new life.

    I agree with the answer above; plus, I would just say that the example you gave is a very common example of spoken English, in the USA anyway. To say it with the "simple future" sounds so very stiff and mechanical. That would be something like this:

    Baby? Are you kidding? She will start school soon. Besides, she will meet many friends and begin her new life.

    This way of expression works in other languages. I can imagine this type of grammar structure sounding somewhat normal in German, but not really in English, at least, not the English I have heard for nearly 50 years of my life. Great question, by the way!

    The use of the verb + ing (future progress) gives me the visual that this child is quickly growing up and that all of this is a part of this flow and process.



  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #4

    Re: will be ~ing

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry081958 View Post
    I can imagine this type of grammar structure sounding somewhat normal in German
    Actually, German would use the simple present tense here. There is no German equivalent of the "future progressive".

    In English, the so-called "future progressive" is used to predict what will be in progress at a certain time in the future. As you say, soleiljy, this is very clear in a sentence like: "I will be watching TV at [not "when"] 8pm." The certain time in the future is 8pm, and the action we predict will be in progress at that time is the act of watching TV.

    In the case of the baby, a certain time in the future is actually mention. It's not very precise, but it is a certain time in the future: it is "soon".

    Now, meeting friends is certainly a longer process which can be in progress "soon", but what of "starting school" and "beginning a new life"? Surely those are instants?

    Actually, starting school and beginning a new life can take a long time. Starting school involves all the preparation -- buying books and pens, registering with the proper authorities -- and even after the first semester has started, there is a process of getting used to the school system, finding one's way around, meeting the teachers and so on. All this takes time.

    Similarly, beginning a new life is a long process. You have to find a place to live, for example, and buy furniture for it; you have to learn to budget properly and, over time, learn how to survive on your own.

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