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 (113 votes)

Submitted by Maahir on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 07:57

Hi Sir, I am wondering the difference between the Future continues and the P continues with going to. for example I am going to buy a new car by next month or I will be buying a new car by next month. if I ma not wrong we use both "going to and Future Continues" to talk about future plans so, my question is what is the difference between the two tenses and which one we use to where? Thanks in advance.
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 11:41

In reply to by Maahir


Hi Maahir,

Both going to and the future continuous show plans, but the future continuous shows a higher degree of certainty. If you say I will be buying a new car, it shows that you are very sure that this will actually happen. If you say I am going to buy a new car, it doesn't show such certainty. Buying a new car may be just your dream or intention.


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Jack Red on Sun, 21/03/2021 - 10:05

Hi, I looked at Cambridge's grammar book and it is written that future simple is used for the things that will definetly happen and we cannot control. Example: Jill will be 2 years old next month. The colour of the moon will turn into red tomorrow night. Also, it is written that future continuous is used for the things that will defiently happen as a consequence of a routine or arrangement. Example: He will be working as a lifeguard in the summer. Don't ask him. I'll be seeing him anyway in the meeting. These 2 are too similar and confusing. For example, there is a question in my grammar book. It is like this: I ... turn 20 in 2 weeks' time. A)will turn B)will be turning. I thought that either one could be used but the answer is B. I could not understand why. Can you explain it tome please?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 22/03/2021 - 06:55

In reply to by Jack Red


Hello Jack Red,

You are right that both forms (will turn and will be turning) are correct here.


I think the explanations you quote are only examples of uses, not the only uses possible. It's quite possible to use will + verb to describe choices (things we control), for example, as well as things we do not control. It's also quite possible to use will be + verbing to describe things that we expect (in the present as well as the future) as part of a normal and predictable process.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Zuzanna on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 10:10

Dear Sir, In my book is a sentence: " We also use will be-ing to talk about complete actions in the future." Could you explain to me what ''complete actions'' mean? Can I use Future Continuous to talk about what will be finished in the future? I thought we use Future Simple then. Please help me. Best regards, Zuzanna
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Fri, 12/02/2021 - 10:53

In reply to by Zuzanna


Hello Zuzanna,

I'm afraid I can't think of an example for that usage off the top of my head -- that sounds strange to me. Sorry!

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Teresa R. on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 10:12

Hi. I have a question about this sentence: “I’ve never felt more invisible than when I’m traveling with her. She’ll be wearing a neon Gucci sweatsuit and a pair of white pumps”. Is “She’ll be wearing” future continuous, even if the action described is not in the future, but it’s something that the person that the speaker knows usually does?
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 14:21

In reply to by Teresa R.


Hello Paula81,

I'd need to see the full context for these sentences to be able to explain the future continuous form here with full confidence, but I expect that 'will' is being used to talk about typical behaviour here. It sounds as if the writer is thinking of what typically happens when he or she travels with this person.

This is an advanced use of 'will' that is analogous to the use of 'would' to speak about typical past behaviour. You can see a short explanation of this use of 'will' under the section Habitual events on this Cambridge Dictionary page; there's an explanation of this use of 'would' on our Talking about the past page, under Past events and situations.

Hope this helps you make sense of it -- it's great that you noticed it!

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by SaraZaber on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 12:24

Which sentence is correct? The revision of Mid Term Exam will be started on Monday. Or The revision of Mid Term Exam will be starting(will start)on Monday. I want to tell the students that their revision is going to start from Monday, in this case which of the above two sentences are correct?

Hello SaraZaber,

You could use either of the sentences, but I'd recommend the second one. If you use the passive voice (first sentence), it suggests the revision is more mechanical, as if it were something that will happen whether or not the students participate. The second one doesn't have this same sense.

It's a subtle difference and up to you which is better. You could also make it even more active by saying 'We will begin the revision for the mid-term exam on Monday'.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team