Do you know when to use the future continuous (e.g. I'll be studying) and future perfect (e.g. I'll have studied)?

The future continuous (will be + ‘ing’ form) and the future perfect (will have + past participle) tenses are used to talk about events in the future.

Future continuous

  • Don’t ring at 8 o’clock. I’ll be watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
  • This time tomorrow we’ll be sitting on the beach. I can’t wait!

We use the future continuous to talk about something that will be in progress at or around a time in the future.

  • Don’t phone grandma now, she’ll be having dinner.
  • The kids are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong, I know it!

These sentences are not about the future but we can use the future continuous to talk about what we assume is happening at the moment.

Future Perfect

  • Do you think you will have finished it by next Thursday?
  • In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

We use the future perfect to say that something will be finished by a particular time in the future.

We often use the future perfect with ‘by’ or ‘in

  • I think astronauts will have landed on Mars by the year 2020.
  • I’ll have finished in an hour and then you can use the computer.

By’ means ‘not later than a particular time’ and ‘in’ means 'within a period of time’. We don’t know exactly when something will finish.

  • I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday.

We don’t know exactly when he will finish the work – maybe Thursday, maybe Friday – but definitely before Saturday. 


Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Hello ihab1000,

The correct answer is (b). For (c) to be correct there would need to be a time reference of some kind - 'will have been... for twenty years', for example.

Please note that generally we don't provide answers to tasks and exercises from elsewhere. If we did this then we'd end up doing people's homework and tests for them, which is not our role.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


''As you will have noticed he has new glasses''

Can this be indicating that ''you'' noticed in the past that ''he'' has new glasses?

Thank you

Hello JakiGeh,

Yes, the sentence here means that the speaker expects that you already know this. In other words, the speaker does not think that the information about his new glasses is news to you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter

I didn't understand the point.
The speaker does not consider the information as the news by using "as"
or "future perfect"?

Does "future perfect" always suggest already known information?


Hello Sanazi,

The use of 'will have noticed' here is key. Compare these:


As you will have noticed... [at some point before now]

As you will notice... [in the future when you see him]


'Will have' here is a prediction or a guess about the past. It means something like 'I am sure that you have already...'


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

In the sentence "Probably, when these guys *will be* older, they will have the same attitude." I know the first one should be in simple present (when these guys are older, the will have...) but, why? We've always been taught that to use the present to refer to the future, we must be talking abut something planned or scheduled, and this is not the case... Thanks for helping!

Hello claudiaes,

Although in general the present tense is used to refer to the present, in fact it can actually be used to refer to the past (e.g. in stories), the present (e.g. habits) and the future (e.g. fixed plans)! As for this specific context, which is a time clause (this one begins with the word 'when'), the present simple is used here, even though you're referring to the future. You can see a bit more about this on our time clauses page.

By the way, this is very similar to Spanish, which wouldn't allow a future tense here, but rather a present subjunctive. In Catalan and French, a future tense is possible, but I believe a present subjunctive is also possible here, or at least it is in Catalan.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear the LearnEnglish Team,

I've been reading English grammar fora and come across a post about the difference between the use of Future Progressive and that of Present Progresive. Something like 'We use Present Progressive when we talk about arrangements but we have some influence / choice. On the contrary, Future Progressive expresses something inevitable, beyond our power to change'. There are a few examples. I'm seeing my dentist tomorrow (to emphacise I've already booked an arrangement) vs I'll be seeing my dentist tomorrow (to emphacise there's nothing I can do about it, sorry) - btw I'm wondering if you want to convey by this it's impossible to change the plan and like go somewhere else instead or you've got a terrible toothache and just can't wait any longer...
I'm working with Mary tomorrow vs I'll be working with Mary tomorrow (like today is Tuesday and I always work with Mary on Tuesdays?)
I'm meeting with my friends next week vs I'll be meeting with my friends next week (a sort of tradition to meet every week, every month?)
But I also heard the sentences in Future Continuous in videos for EFL learners, e.g. We'll be doing some exercises bla. Maybe because in every video it's done, like a routine?

Have I got it right? Some speakers say all future forms are used pretty interchangeably and maybe I'm just overanalyzing that. I found a sentence 'I'm afraid you will not be coming home tonight' and I can't figure out why Future Progressive is used there.

I'd be happy if you will clarify it.

Thanks in advance,

Hello Elena,

First of all, there are a couple of other pages that describe different uses of the future continuous that I'd recommend you read. The first is a current BBC Learning English page and the second is an older BBC Learning English page.

I wouldn't say that the future continuous by itself refers to a future event that's impossible to change. Rather, as an instance of the continuous aspect, it shows a different perspective on the future event. It's as if the event is going to happen whether you want it to or not, either because it's already planned or because it's something that you perceive that will happen anyway, despite whatever may happen now. Much of the time both A) 'I'm meeting with Mary tomorrow' and B) 'I'll be meeting with Mary tomorrow' could be used in the same context, but, for example, B could (but not necessarily - context and you the speaker's conception of the event are key) also imply or indicate that you see it as a meeting that will take all your time.

By the way, the future continuous can also be used to make predictions about future periods of time (e.g. 'When I'm 75 years old, I'll be living in Stockholm'). It's really a rather versatile tense!

I hope this helps you a bit.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Dear Kirk,

Thanks a lot for your answer. But I'm afraid I'm still quite confused about that... Were you meaning the Future Continuous can be used interchangeably with other forms like the Present Continuous and 'going to'?
Would you help me get the difference between them if we are talking about the things we've already planned (if there's any)?
e.g. 'I'll be going shopping later. Do you want anything?' (a routine?) vs 'I'm going (to go) shopping later. Do you want anything?'
'I won't be using the car tomorrow. You can have it if you want'. vs 'I'm not going to use the car tomorrow. You can have it if you want'
'Won't you be taking the same train?' vs 'Aren't you going to take the same train?' vs 'Aren't you taking the same train?'