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

Hello everyone!

I’m a new member of your team and I need guidance on this particular case - what is the correct form of:

In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.
In 5 year's time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

I mean: with or without apostrophe in the expression "years time".

Have a nice day / evening!
Raluca

Hello Raluca,

The correct form here is with an apostrophe, but since years is plural, the apostrophe goes after the s: "in five years' time". By the way, "in five years" is another way of saying the same thing.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Does the form "will + be + past participle" exist in the future? For example:

It will be finished in an hour if you will help me or It will be finished in an hour if you want to help me

Thanks

Hello MayelaM,

Yes, that form exists.  It is a passive form:

I will cook the dinner. [active]

The dinner will be cooked. [passive]

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your answer, just to clarify the structure of the passive voice in this question...

Are the both sentences on my question grammatically correct? In other words, can I use present or future in the second part of the sentence (after the if)?

It will be finished in an hour if you will help me

or

It will be finished in an hour if you want to help me

Thanks!

Hi Mayela,

In future time clauses that begin with if, when (and other words), the verb typically goes in the present simple form. So in the first sentence, it should be "if you help me"; the second sentence is fine.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the comments Peter and Kirk...

In "verbs in time clauses and if clauses" page, there is the following sentence "We should finish the job early if George will help us"

Is it correct to use the passive voice as: The job will be finished early if George will help us...
Same structure as in the first sentence of my original posting ... or because of the passive voice, it is modified as: The job will be finished early by us if Geoge help us...

Thanks for clarifying my doubts...

Hello Mr..
this grammar is very difficult
I need more expain

Hello radia khaled,

Future continuous and future perfect is a difficult area, but the explanation here is very clear and well-exemplified, in my opinion.  Is there a reason why this particular aspect of grammar is important to you at the moment?  I ask because it may well be that this section is a little too advanced for you at the moment and that it would be more beneficial to you to work on slightly less challenging areas first, such as present and past simple and continuous forms.  Over time your grammar will improve and you will find advanced structures, such as the future perfect and continuous, more accessible.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello radia khaled,

Future continuous and future perfect is a difficult area, but the explanation here is very clear and well-exemplified, in my opinion.  Is there a reason why this particular aspect of grammar is important to you at the moment?  I ask because it may well be that this section is a little too advanced for you at the moment and that it would be more beneficial to you to work on slightly less challenging areas first, such as present and past simple and continuous forms.  Over time your grammar will improve and you will find advanced structures, such as the future perfect and continuous, more accessible.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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