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 (88 votes)

Hello Peter,
I see that in your 1st example ( I'll finish it by the weekend ) you use future simple ( will ) with BY
Does it mean that we can use future perfect and future simple interchangeably with BY without any difference?
1. So is it correct if we say :
- By next week we will have been together for 2 years
- By next week we’ll be together for 2 years
- Next week we’ll have been together for 2 years ( without BY )
- But the phrase “Next week we ‘ll be together for 2 years” will have no meaning?
2. In your example “By 2030 there will have been more than 8 million people in my country for several decades.” , "for several decades" here meaning in each decade starting for ex. from 2000 till 2030 the population was more than 8 million?
What if I rephrase it like that : According to some statistical estimates by 2023 the number of people living in this country will have reached the figure of 8.8 million
Is future perfect possible in this context or still not because it again about a prediction and not a real possibility ( as in the case of a married couple)?
Thank you

Hell again Ulk,

1. Yes, that correct as the 'by' phrase already makes the meaning clear. The last example would be understood, of course, but it is not correct.

2. Yes, correct again.

The future perfect can be quite happily used with predictions; that is not the reason the last example in (1) is incorrect. The reason that is incorrect is that 'will be together' without a by phrase implies that 'being together for two years' takes place in the time given (next week), not at some point before it. If you changed it to something like 'we will have our anniversary' then 'will' becomes possible.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter, thank you again. Just to be absolutely sure :
1. The phrase “By 2030, there will have been some 8.8 million people in this country” is INcorrect because it’s about a prediction about a state in the future, and not looking back on something completed before a certain point. There should be future simple, not future perfect.
2. But if I rephrase it like “According to some statistical estimates by 2023 the number of people living in this country will have reached the figure of 8.8 million” it will be correct and the use of future perfect justified ?
-

Submitted by ashokans on Mon, 26/06/2023 - 04:45

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Dear Sir !

Do we use will+ have been + participle in future perfect tenses.

Hello ashokans,

The form for future perfect is will have + past participle (e.g. She will have written it by 10.00).

The form for future perfect continuous is will have been + verb-ing (e.g. She will have being writing it for six hours by 10.00).

The form for future perfect passive is will have been + past participle (e.g. It will have been written by 10.00).

The form for future perfect continuous passive is will have been being + past participle (e.g. It will have been being written for six hours by 10.00).

 

Some of these forms, especially the last one, are very unusual and we tend to avoid them and use active forms instead.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by calnicolaides on Tue, 20/06/2023 - 15:54

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Hello, Sir.
I would like to ask you which one of the following sentences is correct:
I will surely have come back by 8pm
OR
I will have surely come back by 8pm

Hello calnicolaides,

Both are possible. The position of adverbs in English sentences is often quite flexible, so all of these would be correct sentences:

Surely I will have come back by 8pm.*

I surely will have come back by 8pm.

I will surely have come back by 8pm.

I will have surely come back by 8pm.*

I will have come back surely by 8pm.

I will have come back by 8pm, surely.*

The differences are really of emphasis and style. I've marked with * the sentences which I think the most commonly used.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Ahmed Imam on Sun, 09/04/2023 - 20:46

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Hello. Could you please help me? Is the following sentence correct using the future continuous?
- Don’t wait for me this evening; I will be preparing for my sister’s wedding.
Thank you.