The use of future continuous tense


This subject arises in relation to the sentence “I will be going to New York and Los Angles” that I wrote in my blog at QQ. A friend asked me why I did not say “I will go….” or “I am going to go…..”. I did not seriously think about the grammar of my sentence at the time. As a matter of fact, I used “I will go….” in the blog at 163.com. The reason that I did not write “I am going to go…..” is  that it seems repetitious.
“I will be going……” is a form of the future continuous tense (“CFT”), which according to EnglishClub.com is used to express action at a particular moment in the future. It is said that the following rules apply to the use of CFT:

  1. The action will start before that moment but it will not have finished at that moment.
  2. When we use CFT, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about.

The example given by EnglishClub.com is that if I will start work at 2pm and stop work at 6pm, I may say “I will be working at 4pm”. The listener would understand that I am in the middle of working at 4pm, i.e. I start working before 4pm and will continue beyond that time.

Returning to my sentence, I think FCT is appropriate to express my upcoming trip as I will continue to go from New York to Los Angeles. It would be a long and extended trip. Nonetheless,  I did not follow the second rule applicable to CFT as I did not mention as to the relevant time of my trip. In the circumstances, I will revise my sentence to “I will be going to New York and Los Angeles in June”. It is to tell you that I would be in the middle of my trip in June. Further you may expect that I would leave before June and would not finish the trip in June.

I am grateful to my friend for raising the question.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: