will be doing / be doing

iqs2f

New Member
japanese
#1
A native speaker gave me an explanation of the difference between "will be doing" and "be doing" as shown below. However, I don't understand where the difference comes from.

The simple future is used when the future event is definitely going to happen, "I will be travelling to New York next Wednesday." - this will definitely happen.
Whereas the present tense together with a time reference doesn't have the same commitment, "I'm going to New York next year." - sometime, probably, but not totally sure when.
Here I thought both "will be doing" and "be doing" indicate a strong probability in the near future with no intention, and basically have the same meaning.
However, apparently there are a slight difference in the meaning, and my thought was incorrect.

"I will be travelling to New York next Wednesday." - this will definitely happen.
"I'm going to New York next year." - sometime, probably, but not totally sure when.
If this is "will do/be going to do", it makes sense to me because "will do" has a stronger intention and volition than "be going to do". However, neither "will be doing" nor "be doing" have them.
Also, I can understand why it is not totally sure when if "I'm going to" here is an abbreviation for "I'm going to go to", because "be going to do" implies that arrangements are yet to be made .
 
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Uncle Jack

Senior Member
British English
#2
Quite honestly there is so little difference between the present continuous and the future continuous that it is not worth trying to find any distinction between the two.

The present continuous is used when the thing has been planned. It might not mean that tickets and hotels have already been booked (although most often they would have been), but there is a definite plan in place to go to New York next Wednesday, or next year, as the case may be.

The future tense is used where there isn't (yet) a plan, or where no plan is known about (often the case when talking about someone else). It is also used to emphasise, reassure or express doubt, depending on the situation and, in speech, the intonation. In the situation you describe, I really cannot distinguish between "I am going to New York on Wednesday" and "I will be going to New York on Wednesday", except the person saying the second sentence may not yet have booked tickets.
 

dojibear

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
#3
A native speaker gave me an explanation of the difference between "will be doing" and "be doing" as shown below. However, I don't understand where the difference comes from.
Are they a BE speaker (UK) or AE speaker (AE)?

I don't agree with that speaker. In AE, there is no standard difference in meaning between the two.
 

iqs2f

New Member
japanese
#4
Are they a BE speaker (UK) or AE speaker (AE)?
He is a BE speaker, but considering answers of you two, there seems no major difference between them in both BE and AE.:)

Now I fully understand. Thank you very much for the great explanations, Uncle Jack, dojibear.
 
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