Read the grammar explanation and do the exercise.

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


Dear Peter,

Thanks a lot for your feedback! The more I'm thinking about the English tense system, the more I realize you should have a kind of 'gut feeling' for it to use this or that tense properly. And as Kirk says it takes time and you need a lot of language exposure.

I totally agree with you that each case is context dependent. E.g. I'm taking the sentence from Kirk's answer 'Will you meet me at 12?' 'Sorry. I'll be seeing my father'. The speaker can mean by this:
1) certainty, almost inevitability like 'The meeting is going to happen whatever. I just can't cancel that even if you want me to. No use asking';
2) emphasis on duration - I'm already booked for the WHOLE afternoon but I'll be free in the evening;
3) emotional involvement - I'm all excited about this lunch. I haven't seen my dad for ages or I'm afraid of this meeting and the conversation is going to be hard time;
4) or a combination of those, right?

So I'll be reading and watching in English more to get it.


In the sentence "Probably, when these guys *will be* older, they will have the same attitude." I know the first one should be in simple present (when these guys are older, the will have...) but, why? We've always been taught that to use the present to refer to the future, we must be talking abut something planned or scheduled, and this is not the case... Thanks for helping!

Hello claudiaes,

Although in general the present tense is used to refer to the present, in fact it can actually be used to refer to the past (e.g. in stories), the present (e.g. habits) and the future (e.g. fixed plans)! As for this specific context, which is a time clause (this one begins with the word 'when'), the present simple is used here, even though you're referring to the future. You can see a bit more about this on our time clauses page.

By the way, this is very similar to Spanish, which wouldn't allow a future tense here, but rather a present subjunctive. In Catalan and French, a future tense is possible, but I believe a present subjunctive is also possible here, or at least it is in Catalan.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


''As you will have noticed he has new glasses''

Can this be indicating that ''you'' noticed in the past that ''he'' has new glasses?

Thank you

Hello JakiGeh,

Yes, the sentence here means that the speaker expects that you already know this. In other words, the speaker does not think that the information about his new glasses is news to you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter

I didn't understand the point.
The speaker does not consider the information as the news by using "as"
or "future perfect"?

Does "future perfect" always suggest already known information?


Hello Sanazi,

The use of 'will have noticed' here is key. Compare these:


As you will have noticed... [at some point before now]

As you will notice... [in the future when you see him]


'Will have' here is a prediction or a guess about the past. It means something like 'I am sure that you have already...'


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

What is the best choice in the following sentence?
- By 2030, well paid jobs …………. available in Egypt.
a) will be b) had been c) will have been d) were being
I myself was confused between a and c but I think that a is the best choice.Really I
need your help.

Hello ihab1000,

The correct answer is (b). For (c) to be correct there would need to be a time reference of some kind - 'will have been... for twenty years', for example.

Please note that generally we don't provide answers to tasks and exercises from elsewhere. If we did this then we'd end up doing people's homework and tests for them, which is not our role.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

i have to have it correct