This dialogue is from a series called “A discovery of witches”.

The male protagonist, a vampire, is talking to her mom about the sleeping arrangements for his girlfriend, a witch, who is being pursued by dangerous people but has found safety in his boyfriend castle (of course he has a castle). Witches and vampires have never gotten along with each other, so his mother has a little bit of resentment towards this woman but she’s trying not to show it, for the sake of her son.

She says:

She needs some rest, it’s been a long journey. I’ll make up her room.

And his son replies:

No, I’ll do it. She’ll be sleeping in my tower.

Now, why does the vampire use the future continuous? Why not the future simple? Would it have a different meaning? Are they interchangeable? If so, why use one over the other?

  • 3
    She'll be sleeping implies that this will be a regular sleeping place for her. She'll sleep doesn't exclude that, but it doesn't imply it either. – Colin Fine Jul 3 '20 at 16:59
  • "The male ... is talking to his mom ... " In English the possessive pronoun takes the gender of the possessor not the thing possessed. – chasly - supports Monica Jul 3 '20 at 21:13

According to this Grammarly article, the difference between future simple and future continuous could be a matter of how long the verb will take place:

Will be meeting is the future continuous tense of the verb to meet. The construction will + be + the present participle meeting indicates that the meeting isn’t going to happen in an instant, all at once. It will have a duration. The will + be + present participle construction always indicates the future continuous tense. Example: Michael will be running a marathon this Saturday.

So, because the act of sleeping doesn't occur instantly, and instead takes probably 6-8 hours to do, it is fair to use the future continuous She'll be sleeping in my tower. instead of the future simple She'll sleep in my tower.

However, if you ask most native speakers, I'm sure that the vast majority would agree that both She'll be sleeping in my tower and also She'll sleep in my tower communicate the exact same information, and both sound equally correct for this situation.

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.