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Future continuous and future perfect

Do you know how to say what you will be doing or will have done at a specific time in the future?

Look at these examples to see how the future continuous and future perfect are used.

In three years' time, I'll be studying medicine.
In five years' time, I'll have finished studying medicine.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Future continuous and future perfect: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Future continuous

We can use the future continuous (will/won't be + -ing form) to talk about future actions that: 

  • will be in progress at a specific time in the future:

When you come out of school tomorrow, I'll be boarding a plane.
Try to call before 8 o'clock. After that, we'll be watching the match.
You can visit us during the first week of July. I won't be working then.

  • we see as new, different or temporary:

Today we're taking the bus but next week we'll be taking the train.
He'll be staying with his parents for several months while his father is in recovery.
Will you be starting work earlier with your new job?

Future perfect

We use the future perfect simple (will/won't have + past participle) to talk about something that will be completed before a specific time in the future.

The guests are coming at 8 p.m. I'll have finished cooking by then.
On 9 October we'll have been married for 50 years.
Will you have gone to bed when I get back?

We can use phrases like by or by the time (meaning 'at some point before') and in or in a day's time / in two months' time / in five years' time etc. (meaning 'at the end of this period') to give the time period in which the action will be completed.

I won't have written all the reports by next week.
By the time we arrive, the kids will have gone to bed.
I'll have finished in an hour and then we can watch a film.
In three years' time, I'll have graduated from university.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Future continuous and future perfect: Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hello munish064,

A tense is generally described as follows (this is taken from the Cambridge Dictionaries Online):

1 any of the ​forms of a ​verb which show the ​time at which an ​action ​happened:
"I ​sing" is in the ​present tense and "I ​sang" is in the past tense.

The key word here is 'form', which refers to a change in the shape of the verb, not to the use of extra words. This is why 'will + verb' is not viewed by grammarians as a tense - it is a modal verb, like 'should', 'must' and so on. It can have future meaning, but it can have other meanings too. English uses modal verbs, present forms, past forms, lexical phrases and other devices to talk about the future, but does not have one form which is, grammatically speaking, a 'future tense'.

For more explanation on how English talks about the future please take a look at this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much sir ....but "will +verb" is used in future simple form only. There is '-ing form' in future continuous form and past participle form in future perfect form. So it's confusing me. I am sorry for wasting your time for such a stupid question.
Thanks

Hello munish064,

I'm not sure what your question is here. In my original answer I said that English uses many forms to talk about the future, including the forms you mention. Please visit the link I posted to see which forms are used.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Respected sir;
Thanks for your reply,
As you said in your previous reply "The key word here is 'form', which refers to a change in the shape of the verb, not to the use of extra words. This is why 'will + verb' is not viewed by grammarians as a tense " So i was asking that 'will +verb' form is used in future indefinite only; not in future perfect and future perfect continuous, so why they are not regarded as 'tenses'.
Sorry for a stupid question once again.
Thanks

Hello munish064,

I'm afraid I don't understand the distinction you are trying to make. All of these forms use modal verbs, and are not considered true 'tenses'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir / Ma'm,

Could you provide a brief explanation of the differences between these four (mentioned below):-

a) I asked
b) I have asked
c) I had asked
d) I have been asked

Kindly give some exaple for these four, by which we (the beginner) may understand the exact differences between the time frames of these four.

Earnestly waiting for an answer. Please help me.

Thanking you.

Warm Regards,
Shruti Aurora

Hello Shruti Aurora,

I'm afraid it's not possible to give you a brief answer. What you are asking is a huge question: there are four verb forms here with multiple meanings, different in different contexts and with meanings that depend upon other parts of the sentence. It would be possible to write a book in answer to your question!

What I suggest is that you use the grammar section, especially the section on verbs, to study these forms. Then, if you have any specific questions we'll be happy to try to help.

The names of the forms are

a) past simple

b) present perfect

c) past perfect

d) present perfect passive

You can find links to these in the verbs part of the grammar section.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

May I know if following sentence is correct? Can future perfect be used in this context?

The manager wants the team to start thinking about the project plan and the team will have updated him before end of next month.

Hello kstan,

Yes, that is fine, grammatically speaking - other than the missing definite article before 'end'. However, I think a better option stylistically and for clarity would be:

The manager wants the team to start thinking about the project plan and for them to update him before the end of next month.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"You don't need to know that what am i doing" Is this a correct sentence

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