What is the difference between these two sentences? (Additional question: Do I have to change the preposition, "in" to "by"?)

  1. The factory will produce five million cars a year in 2035.
  2. The factory will be producing five million cars a year by 2035.

1 Answer 1


Sentence #1 says that the the factory will produce five million cars in the year 2035. It says nothing about years other than 2035. Maybe the factory will produce zero cars in 2034. Maybe it will produce five million cars in 2034. Maybe the factory will shut down at the end of 2035 and produce zero cars in 2036. The sentence simply does not say.

Sentence #2 is a little more subtle. will be producing suggests an ongoing action, and "by the year 2035" suggests "in the year 2035 or earlier". (See the definition of by, preposition 3b: "not later than".)

Sentence #2 makes it sound like the factory is increasing its production, so that it will achieve a rate of five million cars per year in 2035 or earlier, and probably will continue this rate after afterwards, because it is a continuous action.

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