Future continuous and future perfect

Future continuous and future perfect

Do you know how to use phrases like I'll be studying or I'll have finished? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

Average: 4.1 (100 votes)
Hi Pete, I think your auto corrector may have altered what you had intended to write. "By 6.00 I've have finished the meeting." Regards, Dedub.

Hi Dedub,

Well spotted! You're quite right. I've corrected the post.

Thanks again,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by rayhaibara on Wed, 28/08/2019 - 16:15

Hello britishcouncil. Is there any reason why we use simple present in explaining future perfect. Tx.

Hello rayhaibara,

I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand your question. Could you perhaps provide an example to clarify?



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Risa warysha on Sat, 03/08/2019 - 10:42

Hi Sir Could you tell me what this sentence means? I'll be celebrating my mom's brithday tomorrow. Does it mean I'm going to celebrate it the whole day tomorrow or does it express that I have a plan to celebrate my mom's birthday tomorrow (it doesn't matter what time I celebrate)? Thank you Sir
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sun, 04/08/2019 - 21:52

In reply to by Risa warysha


Hello Risa warysha

It does mean you have a plan for tomorrow, but what else it exactly means is impossible to say for sure without knowing the precise context. 

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by rosario70 on Sun, 16/06/2019 - 10:07

Hi teachers, i would like to know which is the most informal way with the same meaning of the following sentence: if i had waited for further one hour i would have met his.Thanks in advance .

Hello rosario70

If I've understood what you want to say, I'd recommend 'If I had wait another house, I'd have met him.'

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Dieudonné

Submitted by Dieudonné on Fri, 31/05/2019 - 13:34

Hmm! I'm happy to learn more about future continuous and future perfect. I am used to translate directly my sentences from french to english and some, that sounds weird and no sense. But now, I know when I have to use these tenses during my talking.

Submitted by Montri on Thu, 16/05/2019 - 15:45

What is the difference between the following sentence? When will you be arriving? AND When are you going to arrive?