I received an email with the following sentence:

The meetings will be discussing on this early next week.

I have two questions:

  • Should we use will discuss rather than will be discussing? I don't know the purpose of the future continuous here, or the general purpose of the future continuous tense.

  • Should we use will discuss the matter or will have discussion on this matter (I guess that was a mistake to use will discuss on here)?

2 Answers 2

  1. Will be discussing this would work. There is some time in the meetings next week when we will, in fact, be discussing this.

  2. Either will discuss the matter or will have a discussion on the matter is correct. But they have slightly different connotations: will discuss could span some time, while will have a discussion refers to a particular discrete event.

Will be discussing on this, as you have said, is incorrect.

There's another issue here which you have not asked about: a native speaker would be rather unlikely to say that a meeting will discuss anything, since it is not a person. The phrasing would more likely be we will discuss this in the meetings, or perhaps the meetings will include a discussion on this, or something to that effect.

  • Also "Meeting participants will discuss...", "Topics discussed will include...". There are many options to convey the same general meaning.
    – ssakl
    Aug 27, 2010 at 14:58
  • 2
    What nonsense, "the meeting will be discussing this" is something a native speaker would produce.
    – delete
    Aug 27, 2010 at 17:11
  • 1
    @Shinto: Could be, but I think it's an unlikely construction. (Besides, it's a tangential discussion anyway.)
    – mmyers
    Aug 27, 2010 at 17:16
  • 1
    It's not in the least unlikely for me. Is this perhaps another UK/US distinction? I am UK - where is Ex-user?
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 26, 2010 at 15:17
  • 1
    I'm in the US, and I concur: an educated native English speaker would not say "the meeting will be discussing this". Meetings hate to be anthropomorphised.
    – Klay
    Nov 29, 2010 at 21:06

"will discuss" and "will be discussing" are equally usable in almost all cases, but there are difference of nuance.

Principally, "will be discussing" focuses on the continuity of the discussions, whereas "will discuss" does not; but neither necessarily says anything about how long the discussions take.

However, there is another dimension: "will be discussing" is more tentative and less forceful, and may be used to be polite, or to mollify, or even to distance the speaker from the discussion.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.