I'll be ploughing the farmland (at nine o'clock) tomorrow morning.

stephenlearner

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Does "will be doing something" have two functions?
1. your future plan or arrangement. 2. something will be in progress at a specific point in time.
For the first to be valid, the sentence should not mention a specific point in time.
For the second to be valid, the sentence should mention a specific point in time.

For instance:
1. I'll be ploughing the farmland tomorrow morning. (my plan)
2. I'll be ploughing the farmland at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. (It will be ongoing at that time)

Are my opinions correct?

Thanks a lot.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The sentences and your ideas are correct.

    But for meaning 1 (a plan) "I will plough" is more likely than "I will be plowing" . The continuous form is not likely, for a plan.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    But I have this impression that "will do" implies a spur-of-the moment action, and "be doing" implies a fixt arrangement.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I will pay you the money next Friday. :tick:
    In 2021 Sweden will spend $1b on daycare. :tick:

    No, I don't think "spur of the moment is correct for "will", or that we prefer continuous verbs for firm plans (fixed arrangements).

    Continuous verbs (like "be ploughing") indicate an action in progress. Consider these situations:

    1. What work will I be doing tomorrow morning?
    I will be ploughing the north field. or
    I will be ploughing.


    2. What work will I complete tomorrow morning?
    I will plough the north field.

    3. What will I start (but not complete) tomorrow morning?
    I will start ploughing the north field. or
    I will work on ploughing the north field.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In that post se16teddy is imagining an interactive conversation in which this question is asked.

    He says that this question requests a spur-of-the-moment decision by the other person.
    The "spur-of-the-moment decision" is not in this sentence: it will be in the reply to this sentence.

    He never says that all uses of the non-continuous aspect are requests for a spur-of-the-moment decision.
    He never says that all uses of the non-continuous aspect are related to spur-of-the-moment decisions.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    How long will you stay here?
    I will stay here for two months. (spur-of-the-moment decision)

    I will plough the north field.
    This is not a spur-of-the-moment decision, because you say it after your careful consideration. Right?
    But when somebody asks you a question, "What will you do tomorrow?" you don't have enough to think it over, so you may give a quick answer, "I will plough the north field". We can call this a spur-of-the-moment decision. Does it make sense?
     
    {Stephen} 2. I'll be ploughing the farmland at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. (It will be ongoing at that time)

    Not quite correct. Another possibility is, I could be starting at 9. On the analogy: "I'll be going to university next September." (starting Sept).
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    But when somebody asks you a question, "What will you do tomorrow?" you don't have enough to think it over, so you may give a quick answer, "I will plough the north field". We can call this a spur-of-the-moment decision. Does it make sense?
    When somebody asks you "What will you do tomorrow?" you might already know the answer. Then it is not a spur-of-the-moment decision: it is something you already decided before you were asked.

    You don't have to think it over, if you have already decided.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Native speakers don't approve of the sentence "How long will you stay here?", because it asks for a spur-of-the moment decision.
    I don't think anyone says they disapprove of it, or that they disapprove because it refers to a spur-of-the-moment decision. You might have misinterpreted what they said.

    It may or may not refer to a spur-of-the-moment-decision. It doesn't do so necessarily.
     
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