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 (91 votes)

Submitted by Natasa Tanasa on Tue, 07/12/2021 - 22:33

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Dear teachers,

Could you please help me with the following sentences?
Are these sentences correct:

1. I am going to finish my second book by the end of this year. (publish)
---- > My second book will have published by the end of this year.
2. We planted the trees nearly three years ago. (grow) ---- >
This year the trees will have grown for three years?

Hello Natasa Tanasa,

1. The past participle of 'be' is missing from what I suppose is supposed to be a passive sentence: 'My second book will have been published by the end of this year' would be correct, but as written it is not.

2. Your sentence is grammatically correct. It would be a little odd in general use, but in context it would be fine. Though here it looks like a simple sentence transformation exercise and your suggestion looks fine to me. You could also use a continuous form: 'This year the trees will have been growing for three years'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Ahmed Imam on Wed, 01/12/2021 - 16:58

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Hello Team. Could you please help me? Which form is correct or both? Why? Some teachers insist that No. 2 is correct but I believe No. 1 is correct, right?
1- All Egyptian schools will apply E-learning by 2030.
2- All Egyptian schools will have applied E-learning by 2030.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

1 is possible but 2 more clearly states that the application will begin before 2030. Perhaps that's why your colleagues prefer it.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again, Kirk. I think the future perfect means that the action (applying) will no longer happen after 2030 and so I think it's not the intended meaning, right?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The future perfect does indeed mean that the application will be finished by 2030. Part of the issue here is the exacting meaning of 'apply' in this context.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ahmed Imam,

I'm sorry that wasn't clear. The problem is that I don't understand the purpose of the sentences that you're asking about, or exactly what they are supposed to mean.

As you say, 'All Egyptian schools will have applied E-learning by 2030' indicates that the application of e-learning will be completed before 2030. But what does it mean to 'apply e-learning'?

If 'apply e-learning' means that new ways of learning with technology will be implemented -- that is, that these new methods will start being used -- then it doesn't mean that e-learning won't be taking place after 2030. What I understand is that it means that all of the planned actions to introduce e-learning will be completed by 2030, but that this does not mean that e-learning will stop being used in 2030.

Hope that makes sense.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mr. Ahmed Imam,

No. 1: Future Simple Tense. Will / shall + root form of the verb)
It is used to talk about things that haven’t happened yet / to talk about an action or condition that will begin and end in the future.

No. 2: Future Perfect Tense. (Will have / won't have + past participle)
It is used to talk about something that will be completed before a specific time in the future.

I think that’s why some teachers prefer the second one.

All the very best sir,
Feroz