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 Greenityvert,

Yes, both "I graduate" and "I have graduated" are possible. The future perfect "I have graduated" emphasises the completion (or the 'already-done-ness') of the graduation slightly more.


LearnEnglish team


In his example, he used the past perfect "I have graduated"  not the future perfect "I'll have graduated" as you say unless I misunderstood.

Is his example still correct?


Hi Ama1,

Oh yes, it's my mistake. Thanks for spotting it! 

"I have graduated" is still correct, but the name of the structure is the present perfect, not the future perfect. The difference in meaning compared with "I graduate" is as explained in my previous comment.


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Khangvo2812 on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 06:20


If I understand correctly, both of the present continuous and future continuous can be used to talk about temporary situations?

Hello Khangvo2812,

Yes, that's correct.

I'm living in London at the moment. [a temporary situation]

I'll be living in London for two months next year. [a temporary situation]

Of course, other uses are possible for these forms as well, but these are very common uses.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Khangvo2812 on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 06:15


I was wondering whether there is a difference between using the present continuous and future continuous in the sentence below.
I will be working/ am working from September.

Hello Khangvo2812,

Peter answered a very similar question from Teresa R. Please have a look at his response. If you have any other questions after that, please let us know.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by tugbanurtezvergil on Tue, 31/10/2023 - 20:12


Hello, I have a question about using ''will not or won't'' for these tenses. Do we have to use ''won't'' instead of ''will not''? For example, What is the correct one in these sentences? ''I won't be working'' or ''I will not be working''

Hello tugbanurtezvergil,

Both of the sentences you ask about are correct and they mean the same thing. We use 'won't' more often in speaking and also quite often in writing, but 'will not' is completely correct in terms of grammar. If you used it a lot with your friends in informal conversation, it would probably sound a little strange (just because we usually say 'won't'), but it wouldn't be incorrect.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by ridhi on Sun, 08/10/2023 - 17:49


Dear Sir,

The following lines are from the news article.I fail to understand the last last line passive form of future perfect.Could you pls explain sir,why this tense is used and what meaning it conveys.expected future actions before a future point usually uses the future perfect tense,I am not being able to find that two future points in this sentence.What exactly the writer is conveying and how that form of tense helps.

Sorry for the long question🙏

The significance of the date will not have been lost on the leadership.

Thank you!