Is there any difference between these two below?


a) Firefighters will be testing hydrants around town next week?
b) Firefighters will test hydrants around town next week?


HOw about this one below? Is it correct? If not,why not?

Firefighters are testing hydrants around town next week.

Last edited {1}
Original Post
All three statements are grammatically correct, and could theoretically be uttered by someone. If the statement is a public announcement, however, the most likely version is

Firefighters will test hydrants ...

The rest of the statement, being a public announcement, would likely have specific information such as

...between 8 A.M. and 6 P.M. Monday through Friday

Other similar announcements are

The performance will last three hours

Flight 7432 will depart from Gate B 44

The candidates will meet for another debate in three weeks

A more general public announcement about the hydrant-testing would probably read

Firefighters will be testing hydrants around town next week. Users should expect some fluctuations in their water flow.

In conversational style, one would use either

Firefighters will be testing.... OR, more idiomatically,

Firefighters are testing hydrants around town next week. Do you want to go and watch some of them?

A good rule to follow is to avoid will + base form for a purely future idea in everyday conversation, especially in first and second persons, but also in third person. This form has many other interpretations that can lead to misunderstandings. One very common question that teachers hear from their non-native speaker students is

(To a teacher) Will you give us a quiz tomorrow?

...when the student is not requesting a quiz but merely inquiring about the teacher's plans. The non-request question, if the speaker wants to use will, should be

Will you be giving us a quiz tomorrow?

Marilyn Martin

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