The Greenwood Boys are a group of pop singers. At present, they are visiting all parts of the country. They will be arriving here tomorrow. They will be coming by train and most of the young people in the town will be meeting them at the station. Tomorrow evening they will be singing at the Workers' Club. The Greenwood Boys will be staying for five days. During this time, they will give five performances. As usual, the police will have a difficult time. They will be trying to keep order. It is always the same on these occasions. ----- from New Concept English

In the passage above, there is a mix of 'will do' and 'will be doing'. Are there any subtle differences? Are they interchangeable? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


I would not be inclined to read any subtle differences into the usages in this paragraph.

According to the British Council, we use future continuous "will be ...ing" when we are talking about something that will happen before and after some time in the future... ie it's a continuous activity.

This means that "will be arriving here tomorrow" is, by their definition, an incorrect usage of future continuous, because arrival is an event not a continuous activity. In my opinion it's a relatively minor distinction and that usage doesn't actually sound wrong.

"Will be meeting" makes more sense as future continuous, because the young people will probably be there before the train arrives, and will not disperse until after the band has left.

"will be trying to keep order" is definitely the correct tense, although "will try to keep order" would also make sense.

Note that "New Concept English" was written in 1967: its author was born in 1932. The passage that you quoted sounds quite dated and formal.

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