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In this sentence: 你明天这个时候会是在做什么?, I find 会 useless, especially since its English translation on does not seem to reflect its sense. What meaning does it carry here?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

你明天这个时候会是在做什么? is not a very fluent sentence construction. I would have re-written it as 你明天这个时候会做什么? instead.

is not useless. It carries the meaning of "likely" in this context.

What will you be (likely) doing at this time tomorrow?

The way sentences are expressed in Chinese is not the same as it is done in English. What appears to be redundant in English need not be redundant in Chinese.

In the above example, because you can't predict what another person will be doing tomorrow, has to be included in the Chinese sentence.

In the English sentence, the phrase "will... be" already expresses the meaning of likelihood in the question.

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For some people (sorry, no citations, just my personal experience), has become a (non-required) future tense marker. – Stumpy Joe Pete Aug 8 '12 at 13:55
In a context where the addressee already has a certain plan for tomorrow and you're just asking what it is, the sentence can go without 会, i.e. "你明天这个时候做什么?" "见客户。" – NS.X. Aug 8 '12 at 19:03
Yes, perfect answer :) – ShinyaSakai Aug 9 '12 at 11:45

I found something similar, to me, "would" in "what would you do tomorrow this time?" is meaningless. I guess 会 here means "possibly"

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Yes, "possibly" is a good choice of word. – 杨以轩 Aug 8 '12 at 11:20

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