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Can I say ' I am to be doing'? Similarly, I have to be doing' Is it possible in any sense? Can you refer me any book in which you saw this use?

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  • Yes, both are possible, but they are overly convoluted grammar. "I will do ..." or "I have to do ..." normally work just fine. Is there a reason you must use these, or are you just curious?
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 15:58
  • Suddenly these things came in my mind and I asked. I'm very curious to know how they can exacly be used. Please give me some examples. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:01
  • I'm having to do. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:02
  • Variations between I am having to do and I have to be doing. My own sentence is ' I am to be preparing my lessons all by myself.' Is it correct? Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:06
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    I am to be doing is very unusual. I am having to do = I find myself in the position of doing something. The assistant teacher is sick so I am having to do all the lesson preparation.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:51

1 Answer 1

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What you're talking about is variations on the future progressive (or continuous) tense.. This is used to describe ongoing action that will happen in the future. As such, it's not common since the simple future tense is sufficient, but is is used:

If you are going to use it, however, you should establish some kind of parallel time frame to show that your action is continuing at the same time.

Tomorrow I will be preparing my lessons by myself since my wife will be out visiting her family.

Next week I am to be spending time with my entire family while they are in town for the holiday.

Next year I have to be traveling a lot more for business while [something else is going on]

It's difficult to come up with good examples for these since it's easier to write them using the simple future tense:

Tomorrow I am going to prepare my lessons by myself since my wife will be out visiting her family

So while it is possible to use these verb tenses, I don't recommend it.

[Edit] "Have to be doing" could be either present or future tense, depending on how it's used. It suggests a requirement to do something, either now or at some point in the future.

Although I would rather be out playing, Mother says I have to be doing my homework.

Although again "I have to do ..." is generally simpler and more clear.

Although I would rather go out and play, Mother says I have to do my homework.

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  • Now I have to be writing your own sentences. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:24
  • Is it correct to say 'Now you have to be writing...' Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:25
  • Yes, it's correct, it's the present progressive tense to talk about ongoing action. However, good English style is to use the simple present unless you really must use the progressive. "Now you have to write" or "Now I have to write ..."
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:40
  • It's so kind of you to answer me soon. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:42
  • I have to be doing is future??
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:47

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