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

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Hi ridhi,

Will not have been lost is the form of the future perfect, but it doesn't refer to the future here. Will can also show the speaker's prediction, e.g. He'll be at home right now. The use of will shows that while the speaker is quite certain about this, it's still a prediction and the speaker does not know this as a fact. (Saying He is at home now shows that it is a fact, for example.)

To show a prediction about something that has already happened, you can use the perfect form, will have. In your example, it shows that the speaker is saying that at some given moment in the past, the leadership knew the significance of the date. As mentioned above, the writer does not know this as a fact but is making a prediction (albeit a fairly certain one), since presumably the writer of this sentence does not have access to the leadership's communications and knowledge.

I hope that helps to understand it.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Profile picture for user oyo

Submitted by oyo on Tue, 19/09/2023 - 13:55

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can someone please explain ing everything

Hello oyo,

I'm afraid we don't provide lessons or general explanations -- that's what the page is for! But if you have a specific question, please feel free to ask. If you don't know what to ask about, I'd suggest trying the exercise and then asking us about a question that you got wrong.

Please also note that it's not generally considered polite to write in all capital letters.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Ulk on Wed, 13/09/2023 - 23:10

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Good day. I have a couple of questions concerning Future Perfect and Future Simple difference

1. First I’ll take a phrase from your exercise - Next week we'll have been together for two years.
- What will be the difference ( if any ) if I use BY here – By next week we'll have been together for two years ?
- What will be the difference if I use Future simple here : Next week / By next week we will be together for two years ?

2. Which tense is correct in this phrase and why:
- by 2030, there will be some 8.8 million people in this country

- by 2030, there will have been some 8.8 million people in this country

Thank you

Hello Ulk,

1. In sentences using 'will have', we use 'by' to mean 'before this time'. Thus, if you say 'by next week' you mean at some point before next week. If you just say 'next week' you mean 'when next week comes'.

Another example might help clarify it:

I'll finish it by the weekend. [when the weekend comes it will be done]

I'll finish it at the weekend. [when the weekend comes I will do it]

 

2. 'Will be' is correct. You are making a prediction about a state in the future, not looking back on something completed before a certain point. You could use 'will have...' with a different context. For example:

By 2030 there will have been more than 8 million people in my country for several decades.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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 ?
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