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. 

Exercise

Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hi sonakshi,

We use 'would' when the situation is seen as unlikely or entirely hypothetical, while 'will' suggests a likely or possible situation.

As I said in my earlier comment, will be verb-ing or would be verb-ing forms describe ongoing situations, while will have + verb3 or would have + verb3 describe situations which we are looking back on. In some contexts the only difference is emphasis and the speaker can choose which form best expresses what they want to say, but in other contexts only one is possible. For example, if you want to talk about a completed action then only the perfect form is possible:

If we manage to agree today then we'll have broken the record for the fastest negotiation ever!

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello britishcouncil.
Is there any reason why we use simple present in explaining future perfect.
Tx.

Hello rayhaibara,

I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand your question. Could you perhaps provide an example to clarify?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir
Could you tell me what this sentence means?

I'll be celebrating my mom's brithday tomorrow.

Does it mean I'm going to celebrate it the whole day tomorrow or does it express that I have a plan to celebrate my mom's birthday tomorrow (it doesn't matter what time I celebrate)?

Thank you Sir

Hello Risa warysha

It does mean you have a plan for tomorrow, but what else it exactly means is impossible to say for sure without knowing the precise context. 

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi teachers, i would like to know which is the most informal way with the same meaning of the following sentence: if i had waited for further one hour i would have met his.Thanks in advance .

Hello rosario70

If I've understood what you want to say, I'd recommend 'If I had wait another house, I'd have met him.'

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hmm! I'm happy to learn more about future continuous and future perfect. I am used to translate directly my sentences from french to english and some, that sounds weird and no sense. But now, I know when I have to use these tenses during my talking.

What is the difference between the following sentence?

When will you be arriving?
AND
When are you going to arrive?

Hello Montri,
Both sentences describe future time and have similar meanings.
The first sentence ('...will be arriving') describes something that is expected. We use this form to describe things that we see as normal and unsurprising in the future.
The second sentence ('...going to...') describes a person's intention or plan.
~
You can read more about ways of talking about the future on these pages:
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar/talking-about-fu...
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/intermediate-grammar/future-plans
~
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages