3

1a. Michael will be running a marathon this Saturday.

1b. Michael is running a marathon this Saturday.

2a. Michael will be DJing at the Manchester festival this Saturday.

2b. Michael is DJing at the Manchester festival this Saturday.

Is there a difference in the meaning between these forms (future continuous or present continuous)? All these sentences suppose that the event (marathon, festival) has been planned before (but is it always the case to use both forms). Are they employed interchangeably?

May be the future continuous is better as running marathon or DJing is a long activity, or may be in term of certainty present continuous is stronger than future continuous?

1

I think the difference between the two is simply that when you're using the present continuous tense, the emphasis is placed more on the fact that the event has been planned and is definitely going to happen. With the future continuous tense, you're just saying that someone will be in the process of doing something at a particular time in the future. It's nothing more than a statement of fact. Consider these two examples:

I'm running the marathon this Saturday no matter what! You won't talk me out of it! Don't even try!

I'll be running the marathon this Saturday. If it's going to rain that day, I'll stay home.

This is at best a subtle difference in emphasis, not a difference in meaning. Most natives would probably find the two expressions virtually interchangeable.

  • 1
    I think you are saying this, but I want to underscore the point for the learner nonetheless: This is at best a subtle difference in emphasis, not a difference in meaning. Most natives would probably find the two expressions virtually interchangeable. – J.R. May 12 '18 at 11:10
  • @J.R. Thank you. Can I include that in my answer? – Michael Rybkin May 12 '18 at 11:19
  • Absolutely. Feel free to clarify. – J.R. May 12 '18 at 11:25
  • but with exemple 2a it has been planned before So for you we must think in term of "probability "before choosing the tense that will suit the best to the event – user5577 May 12 '18 at 11:41
  • @user5577 As J.R. made it clear in his comment, you can choose either one as most native English speakers use them more or less interchangeably. – Michael Rybkin May 13 '18 at 2:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.