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


Hi! I'd like to know the difference between will and shall when used in the future perfect tense since the formula is: will/ shall+ have+past participle. When do we use will or shall in a future perfect sentence? Please give me examples. Also, Id like to know if comma is used even when the time expression is placed in the end part of the sentence. For example: I will have finished my project, by tomorrow.

hello. shall we greet?

Hello iceLucian,

Traditionally, 'shall' was used with first person verb subjects, i.e. 'I' and 'we', but this use is quite uncommon nowadays. In other words, most of the time you will see or hear 'I/we will' instead of 'I/we shall', and I would recommend that you use 'will' instead of 'shall'. This is also true when you're forming the future perfect with 'will have'.

As for your question regarding the comma, no, a comma is not normally used in that way, i.e. the correct punctuation is: 'I will have finished my project by tomorrow'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much. I am clarified now.

hello everyone,

I would like to know, where i can get tenses in this site, like present, past, future...

Hi karunesh,

The Verbs section of our Grammar Reference has a lot of pages on different verb forms. See the English Grammar box on the top right of the page and click on the links you're interested in there.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again,

Firstly, I want to thank you for your answer.
And secondly I want to ask you what is the correct form: 'adviser' or 'advisor'? I know they mean the same thing but still I have a doubt when I can use a specific form.

Thank you in advance,

Hello Raluca,

Both versions are acceptable spellings and can be used interchangeably.  I have seen it suggested that 'advisor' is more common when it is an official title, whereas 'adviser' has a more general meaning of anyone who gives advice at a given moment, but certainly neither is wrong in either case.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

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!

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,
The LearnEnglish Team