I am confused about the following sentence. I know it is correct to say "When will you be leaving?" But I don't know why they use "will be leaving" instead of "will leave." Can we say "When will you leave" instead? What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences, and when should I use one vs. the other?

  • It's hard for me to understand your question. I think you mean this: you heard someone use the sentence "When will you be leaving?" You want to know why this sentence was used instead of "When will you leave?" Am I right? (By the way, as an English learner, I think you would probably receive more helpful replies if you ask your questions on the Stack Exchange site that is specifically for English Language Learners.) – herisson Dec 4 '15 at 2:45
  • I am confused about the following sentence, can i say: "I confused about the following sentence" in this case? Can you help me to explain this. i have a bit confusion. Thanks. – English learner Dec 4 '15 at 4:04
  • No. You have to say "I am confused." When you describe yourself with "I" and an adjective, you need to use a form of "to be" in between. – herisson Dec 4 '15 at 4:16
  • I've got it, i am confused because i think "confused" is a past form of "confuse". Thanks. when should i use the one or the other one? p/s i sorry if it is a stupid question. – English learner Dec 4 '15 at 4:24
  • "Confused" can be a past form of "confuse." It can also be an adjective. – herisson Dec 4 '15 at 4:25
  1. When will you be leaving? (future continuous) Polite question-you are asking in a nice way-it may mean you would like to know when the person is planning to leave.

  2. When will you leave? (future simple) Request-basically you are indicating you want that person to leave.

  • 1
    I think you should back-up this answer with sources to give it credibility. – J. Taylor Dec 25 '19 at 23:46
  • well here you go (page 19) "perfect-english-grammar.com/support-files/…" maybe hard to believe in case ur native though when learning as a second language you should be able to find such an explanation literally everywhere... – Vojtech Kriak Dec 26 '19 at 12:40
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    OK. Please incorporate your support in the answer. Thanks. – J. Taylor Dec 26 '19 at 13:19

If someone is moving to a new job, or going on holiday, or making a business trip, and the answer will be "Sometime next week," "In a month or two," then you might ask,

"When do you leave?"
"When will you leave?

If you expect a precise answer, "At six o'clock." "At seven to-morrow morning," then you would be more likely to say,

"When will you be leaving?"

  • How do you know what the answer will be? Do you really ask yourself will the answer be an exact point of time or not? I doubt it. – rogermue Jan 3 '16 at 15:58
  • @rogermue if the question will be When will you be leaving the office? for example. I hope the answer will not be In a month or two :) – Mosh Feu Feb 9 '20 at 12:10

I don't think that there is any difference at all. The only difference is that "When will you be leaving" is a bit longer and has a bit more weight. But actually I don't see any reason why I should use the infinitive in the continuous form.

  • I disagree that "When will you be leaving" has more weight. It is a gentler question, due to being less direct. – Mike Graham Feb 13 '20 at 5:15

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