1. Review: the future continuous tense
The future continuous tense is used to say what will be happening at a future time.
The future continuous tense is made by
will be + …ing
*Alternatively, the less common ‘(be) going to be + …ing’ can be used.
|Future time||What will be happening?|
(future continuous tense)
|when you get home||I will be sleeping||I will be sleeping when you get home.|
|when the game is on||he is going to be working||He is going to be working when the game is on.|
|when she arrives||it will be raining||It will be raining when she arrives.|
|Tuesday||Samantha is going to be shopping||I think Samantha is going to be shopping no matter whether it rains on Tuesday or not.|
2. Turning the future continuous tense into its passive voice
The passive voice changes ‘x does something to y’ to ‘y has something done to it by x’.
To turn the future continuous tense into the passive voice:
1. swap the subject and object
2. change the verb from ‘will be …ing’ to ‘will be being + p.p.’
*Perfect participle (p.p.) = gone, done, seen, eaten etc.
*Alternatively, the less common ‘(be) going to be being + p.p.’ can be used.
|Future continuous||Future continuous (passive)|
|She will be walking the dog when we get home.||The dog will be being walked when we get home.|
|The mechanic will be fixing the car at 5.||The car will be being fixed by the mechanic at 5.|
|The pilot will be turning on the seatbelt sign just after take-off.||The seatbelt sign will be being turned on by the pilot just after take-off.|
|The priest will be overseeing the wedding on Sunday.||The wedding will be being overseen by the priest on Sunday.|
The future continuous tense in the passive voice is seldom used. However, it does have a purpose:
- To describe an on-going event at a future time
- To stress that an action is being done (vs. a general truth)
The idea of the action being done is important. Usually, the passive form of a future tense describes a general truth, state, or plan, so there is no need for the …ing form. Therefore, the future simple tense in the passive voice is more commonly used.
By using the continuous …ing form, it stresses the action is being done.
It is often necessary to supply context to justify the stress of the action.
|General truth or state|
(other future tenses in passive voice)
|Stress action is being done|
(future continuous tense in passive voice)
|Stress action is being done, with context|
|The dog will be seen by the vet on Saturday.||The dog will be being seen by the vet on Saturday.||We have been waiting for weeks, and for a while we thought it would die, but finally the dog will be being seen by the vet on Saturday.|
|Our office will be opened by the mayor next week.||Our office will be being opened by the mayor next week.||I was really excited to hear that our office will be being opened by the mayor next week.|
|Howie’s appendix will be removed this afternoon.||Howie’s appendix will be being removed this afternoon.||As it is critical the doctor’s do not delay the surgery, Howie’s appendix will be being removed this afternoon.|
|Bruce and Anya’s film will be shown after the talk.||Bruce and Anya’s film will be being shown after the talk.||Please don’t immediately leave at 5pm, because Bruce and Anya’s film will be being shown after the talk.|
4. Further examples
|I hope the dinner will be being cooked when I get home.||If you call at 5, she will still be being driven to the meeting.|
|This time next week that wall will be being painted by 25 young artists.||The route will be being decided as soon as we know who is going.|
|The match will be being played at 7 30, not 7, because of the traffic problems.||All the animals will be being fed at 3 o’clock this afternoon.|
|The winner will be being picked by the chairman on Friday.||The house will be being put on sale once the couple find a new flat.|
5. Test yourself
Click here to test your knowledge of this grammar point.