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 (105 votes)

The fisrt means like she was working and continue working for this 3 months, and the other that she was working for 3 months but now no.

Submitted by Sokhom on Sun, 05/06/2022 - 14:07


Hello, Sir!
I was wondering what the differences between the sentences:
1. The bridge will be completed by May. (Is it a prediction?)
2. The bridge will be being completed by May. (is it a plan or a prediction? If prediction, is it less certain than simple future?)
3. The bridge will have been completed by May. (A completed action before a particular time in the future)
Best Wishes!

Hello Sokhom,

Sentences 1 and 3 mean the same thing -- that before May arrives, the bridge will be completed -- but 3 emphasises the completion more. Perhaps another person has said it won't be done by May and so the speaker uses the future perfect to insist, for example.

I'm afraid sentence 2 isn't really correct. The verb is formed correctly, but it doesn't make sense to use a continuous form with 'by' in this way.

Hope that helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

You explanation is really a big help for me, Sir.
1. The bridge is being completed by May. (future plan)
2. The bridge will be being completed by May.
I wanted to know if we can use "will be +v-ing" to express future plan.
And I wanted to know if we can use "will be +v-ing to express "prediction".
Best Wishes!

Hello again Sokhom,

I would strongly recommend 'going to be completed' instead of 'is being completed' if you're talking about a plan because most people would use 'going to' and 'is being' would sound odd. Also, we don't usually use a continuous form when speaking about a deadline, i.e. a point in time that marks a before and an after.

I suppose you could use 'will be being completed' for a prediction, but, like with 1, it sounds very unnatural to me in combination with the prepositional phrase beginning with 'by'. 'By' indicates a line in time, so to speak -- i.e. a time before which it's not completed and a time after which it is completed. It's very, very strange to use a continuous form in such a situation. I'd recommend 'is going to be completed' or 'will be completed' for a prediction here.

Hope that helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by aymanme2 on Fri, 20/05/2022 - 09:43


Hi, sirs.
I'd like to know your opinion concerning this question:
In ten years' time, electric cars ___ widely used.
1] will be
2] will have been

I see 'will have been' is OK for two reasons:
A] using 'in ten years' time
B] the use of 'widely' as I think it implies that people already started using those cars and those cars will develop until they have been widely used.

Am I right?

Hi aymanme2,

Actually, I would choose option 1. Option 2 is possible, but it's less likely than option 1 because it suggests completeness of the action, i.e., 'being widely used' is complete and it is no longer the situation. This seems unlikely in the context, since there is no apparent reason why they would become widely used and then stop being widely used. For your meaning in reason B, using the verb "become" would work --> "will have become".

I hope that helps!


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot, sir.
Yet, I'd like to check my understanding. You mean we choose 'will be' because it refers to an ongoing action: using electric cars is not something people would stop doing in the future, right?
When we say 'will have been widely used', this means that using those cars will stop at the period mentioned, which is unlikely.
Is that what you mean, sir?

Hi aymanme2,

Yes, right! To be precise, 'will have been widely used' means that the cars will stop being widely used sometime before the period mentioned, not in that exact period.


The LearnEnglish Team