The guide announced that the tour of the museum will be starting in 10 minutes and is schduled to run for about two hours.

  1. if i replace 'will be starting' with 'will start', is there any meaning difference? or interchangable?

  2. in the verbal expression ' is schduled to', how come 'is' is possible instead of 'was' when it comes to the tense agreement matter?


1 Answer 1


There is some flexibility in the use of future simple and future continuous thin this kind of sentence, but I think that future simple would be better.

You generally use "will start" if you know exactly when something is planned to start.

Note also that, when the guide announces something, it is reported speech, so we backshift will to would and is to was.

The guide announced that the tour of the museum would start in 10 minutes and was scheduled to run for about two hours.

You generally use "will be starting" if you are not sure exactly when something will start, for example

We need to hurry up... the tour of the museum will be starting soon!

You are probably thinking that "is scheduled to" is a passive voice form of "the guide scheduled the tour" which is past tense, and so it should be "was scheduled to". In fact, [scheduled][1] in this context is an adjective, meaning "planned to happen at a particular time". So we use present simple because, at the moment, the schedule says that it will happen at the specified time, even if the scheduling happened in the past.
  • I can't see any justification for the idea that we'd be more likely to use will be + continuous in contexts where the exact time of the future event is uncertain. Jan 8, 2021 at 12:13
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica maybe it's just me, then. I can't imagine saying "will start soon" though. Disclaimer: I made it clear in line 2 that it is my opinion, rather than something that appears in grammar books.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 8, 2021 at 12:19
  • ...I've just discovered from NGrams that will be starting soon (imprecise time) is beginning to rival will start soon in recent decades, whereas will be starting now (exact time) remains extremely rare. Jan 8, 2021 at 12:21
  • I find it hard to believe that reflects some kind of syntactic principle, but I can hardly deny that your "instinct" on that one is reflected in the usage data. Maybe it would be different for a different pair of utterances, I dunno. Or maybe you're completely right and I'm completely wrong! :) Whatever - as you say, it's just an opinion. And there's nothing else to argue with! Jan 8, 2021 at 12:23
  • Thanks for that, @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica ... I should have checked some NGrams before I made my pronouncement. I did think of mentioning "will start now", but I thought that "will start in ten minutes" was close enough, and it's what the OP asked about.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 8, 2021 at 12:27

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