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Simple Future vs. Future Progressive: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 31, 2023
Simple future expresses a single action/event in the future; future progressive emphasizes the ongoing nature of an action/event during a future time.

Key Differences

The simple future tense and future progressive tense are two aspects of English grammar used to describe actions that will occur in the future, but they differ in their focus and usage. The simple future, formed with "will" or "shall" plus the base form of a verb, is used for predictions, promises, offers, and decisions made at the moment of speaking. For example, "I will go to the store tomorrow," indicates a straightforward intention or decision. The future progressive, on the other hand, is formed with "will be" followed by the present participle (verb + -ing) and emphasizes the ongoing nature of an action in the future. For example, "I will be going to the store tomorrow," suggests an action that will be in progress at a particular time in the future.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
The simple future tense is often employed when making predictions about the future, especially when the speaker feels certain about the outcomes. Sentences like "It will rain tomorrow," or "She will finish her project by Friday," use the simple future to state future events as facts. In contrast, the future progressive tense is used to indicate an action that will be happening at a specific time in the future, often when interrupted by another action. For instance, "At this time tomorrow, I will be flying to Paris," uses the future progressive to highlight the continuous action of flying at a specific future moment.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
When it comes to making spontaneous decisions or immediate offers and promises, the simple future tense is the go-to choice. Expressions such as "I will help you with that," or "I think I'll have tea," illustrate decisions made at the moment of speaking. The future progressive, meanwhile, is more suited for describing planned events or actions that will be in progress over a period of time. It is often used in social arrangements or scheduled activities, as in "I will be meeting her for lunch next week," indicating a pre-planned event.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 31, 2023

Comparison Chart

Formation

Formed with 'will' + base verb
Formed with 'will be' + present participle
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Use

Decisions at speaking moment, promises
Ongoing actions in the future
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
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Focus

On the action/event itself
On the duration or continuity of the action
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Example Situations

Predictions, spontaneous decisions
Actions in progress at a specific future time
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Typical Sentence Structure

Subject + will + verb
Subject + will be + verb-ing
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Simple Future and Future Progressive Definitions

Simple Future

Used for making future predictions without evidence.
It will probably rain later.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Future Progressive

Used for predicting future events in progress.
Tomorrow at noon, I will be meeting with the team.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023
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Simple Future

Indicates future facts or certainties.
The sun will rise tomorrow.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Future Progressive

Indicates a future action in progress over a duration.
This time next week, I will be traveling.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Simple Future

Expresses future actions decided at the moment of speaking.
I will answer the phone.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Future Progressive

Describes ongoing actions at a specific future time.
I will be studying at 8 PM tonight.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Simple Future

Shows spontaneous decisions about the future.
I will go for a walk in an hour.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Future Progressive

Shows actions that will happen in the normal course of events.
I will be attending the conference next month.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Simple Future

Expresses promises or voluntary actions.
I will send you the details by email.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Future Progressive

Expresses planned future activities or arrangements.
I will be working on the project tomorrow.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What is the simple future tense?

It's a tense used to describe actions that will happen in the future.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

How do you form a negative sentence in simple future?

Use 'will not' (won't) before the base verb.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

How is the future progressive tense formed?

It's formed with 'will be' + the present participle of the verb.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 31, 2023

What is the purpose of the future progressive?

To describe ongoing or continuous actions in the future.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

When do we use simple future?

For predictions, promises, or decisions made at the moment of speaking.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can simple future be used for assumptions?

Yes, it's often used for predictions or assumptions about the future.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Is future progressive suitable for fixed plans?

It's more suitable for actions that will be in progress at a specific time.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Are there any other ways to form the simple future?

'Going to' is also used, especially for planned actions or predictions.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can future progressive be used for background actions?

Yes, it can set the scene for other future events.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Can we use time expressions with simple future?

Yes, like 'tomorrow,' 'next year,' etc.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Does future progressive emphasize duration?

Yes, it focuses on the duration or ongoing nature of a future action.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What about questions in simple future?

Start with 'will,' followed by the subject and base verb.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What time expressions go with future progressive?

Phrases like 'this time next week' are common.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Is simple future used for habits?

No, it's more for one-time actions or predictions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Can future progressive indicate a temporary action?

Yes, it often suggests a temporary action happening at a future time.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Is future progressive good for emphasizing a specific time?

Absolutely, it highlights actions at a specific future moment.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Is simple future used for schedules or timetables?

It's less common; 'going to' or present continuous is often preferred.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can simple future express willingness?

Yes, it's often used to express a willingness to do something.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

How do you form questions in future progressive?

Use 'will' + subject + 'be' + present participle.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Can future progressive describe a routine?

Yes, if it's a routine happening at a specific future time.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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