Future continuous and future perfect

Do you know how to use phrases like I'll be studying or I'll have finished?

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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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)
B2 English level (upper intermediate)
Hello ! Is it correct to say : - I will finish in an hour and then you can use the computer. as an alternative to previous sentence frrom this lesson :'' I'll have finished in an hour and then you can use the computer.'' Thank you !

Hello Abfalter Cristian,

Both of those sentences are correct, but there is a slight difference in meaning.

Your version (I will finish) tells us when you will finish exactly. It is effectively a promise to stop using the computer at a given time.

The original version (I'll have finished) does not give us an exact time, but rather a latest possible time. In other words, the person might finish in an hour, or in half an hour, or in five minutes. Of course, the suggestion is that something like an hour will be needed, but in terms of grammar the structure tells us only that the speaker will finish some time before an hour has passed.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello coud you help me with this plz by 2020 we will have been married or we will be married

Hi Rana,

Both are fine, though the second one is probably more common. In the first, 'married' is part of a passive verb and in the second it is an adjective. People also commonly speak of 'getting married', i.e. 'By 2020 we will have got married'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ahmed Imam,

'is' is correct in this sentence. 'writing' is an uncount noun in each case and so a singular verb is used. If we changed the sentence to refer to count nouns then we'd use a plural verb: e.g. '75% of women and 50% of men like romantic comedies'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please help me about the future perfect? Is it correct to say "By 2030, many well-paid jobs will have been available in Egypt." Some teachers say that "will be" is the only correct form here. I am really confused. Thank you

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The correct form here is 'will be available'. You could use the future perfect form if you were describing an action which has a particular time of occurrence rather than an ongoing state. For example, you could say will have been created or will have been made available.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

What "The kids are very quiet" means ? Why didn't you use word "children" instead of "kids" ?

Hi santoga87,

'kids' and 'children' mean the same thing, though 'kids' is more common in an informal context. Does that make sense given the context?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello I don't understand enough about the time that you mentioned,it's "This time tomorrow". Would you like to give it a bit of explanation ? Thank you anyway

Hi santoga87,

'this time tomorrow' means 'at this time tomorrow'. In other words, if it is 14:00 on Tuesday, 'this time tomorrow' means 14:00 on Wednesday.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please help me with this sentence: Choose: By next year I (will have - will have had - will be having) a new car. Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to questions from elsewhere in this way. If we did then we would end up doing our users' homework or tests for them!

In this case neither option looks correct to me. The verb 'have' is not used in a dynamic way when referring to possession and I think a different verb is needed in this context, such as 'buy'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team