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 Shali,

No, that is not correct. It would be correct if it were without 'that':

You don't need to know what am i doing.

I have one request for you: please try to post questions on relevant pages. This page is about future continuous and future perfect, and your question is not about those forms. Posting questions on relevant pages means the questions and answers can be seen by people learning about those issues and are therefore more useful.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please tell me what's the correct option in this question? and let me know its reason.
David: When are you going to the club, do you know?
(Nick goes to the club every Friday)
Nick: I (will have gone / will be going / will have been) there next Friday.
Thanks a lot.

Hello F.Hasani,

The middle option ('will be going') is the one that makes most sense to me, because the two future perfect forms don't seem to have anything to do with the idea of completion, though they are possibly correct. What sort of exercise is this? Perhaps the teacher who gave you this exercise can explain it better. 

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Kirk

I am so grateful for your help and sorry for my late reply to you. I guess the purpose of the question is the difference between future perfect and future continuous. But what's the difference between (will have gone) and (will have been)? Could you please help me.

Best regards

Hello F.Hasani,

The difference between the future perfect and future continuous is explained above, and the exercise is designed to help you check your understanding of it. If you have any specific questions about it, then we're happy to help, but we don't generally explain grammar that's already explained on one of our pages.

The difference between 'will have gone' and 'will have been' is the difference between 'go' and 'be', though please note that 'have been (to a place)' is often used to mean that one has visited a place, i.e. gone there and returned home. Both forms are a bit unusual in talking about an activity that takes place every week - that's why I preferred the middle answer.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, Please tell me the difference between

1.I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday.
2.I promise I’ll do all the work by next Saturday.

Thank you sir.

Hello deepuips,

In this context there is no difference in meaning. The 'will have' form, sometimes called 'future perfect', tells us that an action will be completed before a certain time. The 'will' form tells us than an action will take place in the future, but not necessarily that it will be completed.

I will eat dinner by three o'clock. - I will start before three but may not finish until after three.

I will have eaten dinner by three o'clock. - My dinner will be finished before three.

In your context 'do the work' already means 'complete the work', so there is no difference in meaning.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I was studying today's newspaper and this appeared.I am asking it as it is related to what we are discussing

How did the metals get there?
Metals are used in practically every product we use. Even detergents and shampoos have traces of them. Nanoparticles are used to limit body odour in socks, for instance. A lot of this is absorbed by the body and discarded as waste, which enters the sewage system and treatment plants.

So I could have been a millionaire by now?
Since the idea isn’t to sift through individual toilet refuse, no, you would still probably be where you are now. To actually mine the sewage, wastewater is treated through physical, biological and chemical processes, resulting in treated water and biosolids. The biosolids, says US researchers, may be as good as a gold mine.

Sir is the usage ofI could have a been millionaire by now, correct? If yes, the how does it differ from I could be a millionaire by now?

Please explain to me.

Thank you.

Thank you sir.

So sir grammatically Both are right.So what you mean to say is

1.I could be a millionaire by now means I could be a millionaire now.Am I right?Or should I say I could be millionaire now and not use by?I feel the usage of by in present tense seems a bit wrong.

Please help me sir.

Hello deepuips,

It's not unusual to hear both 'could be... by now' and 'could have been... by now'. As I said in my earlier reply, one focuses on something before the time of speaking, whereas the other focuses on a state at the time of speaking. For example:

The dinner might have been cooked by now. [it might be finished any time before the present - let's see if we can eat]

The dinner might be cooked by now. [we'd better check the oven because if we leave it too long it might burn]

Remember that language is highly context-dependent; in order to understand it's use you need to think about it in a concrete situation.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team