I was worried about whether I used the right preposition in post Does bridge actually refer to the part on which pedestrians and vehicles move on in everyday English?. So, I googled it. And then I found this example

I shall be coming to see you via the bridge over the railway, not by the road along the river.

I am aware of the usage of the preposition in that sentence. The question is the tense.

If someone said "I am coming to see you ...", I understand they are being on the way come to see me, but how about shall be coming?

Could someone please help make up the context where the expression "I shall be coming to see you ..." would be used?


2 Answers 2


"I shall ..." in that sense is a little old-fashioned. "I will be coming to see you..." is more modern.
OK, make up a context?
Her mother said, "Mariska, I haven't seen you for a long time! When will you visit me?" Mariska replied,"Don't worry Mom, I will be coming to see you in a week or so."

Note also that "I am coming" can also refer to the future, not to the present. It takes context to know whether the future or the present progressive is meant.

  • That's very kind of you. Thank you. What is the difference between "I will be coming to see you" and "I will come to see you" in Mariska's example?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:10
  • I think "am coming" works better in a vague context: "I am coming to see you some time next week.", while "will come" is more definite: "I will come to see you next Monday at 1 PM." But that's not a hard and fast distinction. Mar 10, 2020 at 21:26
  • And Mariska's example is not a vague context, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:29
  • "A week or so" is quite vague. Mar 10, 2020 at 21:30
  • So, in Mariska's example, "am coming" is more appropriate than "I will be coming", right?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:39

In context the construction is unusual.

Typically, when describing the route they would take, people would say simply: I shall come via* or **I shall take (the route over) the bridge.

However, there are any number of ways in English of talking about a planned route for a future visit, and they all mean much the same thing.

I will come via....
I shall come via ....
I will be coming via....
I shall be coming via....
I am coming via...
I intend/plan/hope to come via...

None of these is specific as to timing. None of them tells you whether the speaker has already set out, as you suggest. All are idiomatic and refer to the future but without giving any indication of when, only of the intended route.

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