Do you know when to use the future continuous (e.g. I'll be studying) and future perfect (e.g. I'll have studied)?

The future continuous (will be + ‘ing’ form) and the future perfect (will have + past participle) tenses are used to talk about events in the future.

Future continuous

  • Don’t ring at 8 o’clock. I’ll be watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
  • This time tomorrow we’ll be sitting on the beach. I can’t wait!

We use the future continuous to talk about something that will be in progress at or around a time in the future.

  • Don’t phone grandma now, she’ll be having dinner.
  • The kids are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong, I know it!

These sentences are not about the future but we can use the future continuous to talk about what we assume is happening at the moment.

Future Perfect

  • Do you think you will have finished it by next Thursday?
  • In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

We use the future perfect to say that something will be finished by a particular time in the future.

We often use the future perfect with ‘by’ or ‘in

  • I think astronauts will have landed on Mars by the year 2020.
  • I’ll have finished in an hour and then you can use the computer.

By’ means ‘not later than a particular time’ and ‘in’ means 'within a period of time’. We don’t know exactly when something will finish.

  • I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday.

We don’t know exactly when he will finish the work – maybe Thursday, maybe Friday – but definitely before Saturday. 


Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Hello Peter M ,
I am sorry. But I wanna be sure a bit. What's suitable for the question concerned- simple future or future perfect? It's really been as dark as night to me. If you answer this question, I will be grateful to you. If the rules are hard and fast , so it's OK. Thank you.
With regards,
Sujit Maji ( a keen follower of your website)

Hello Sujit Maji,

I'm afraid the answer here depends upon the context. Both 'will be' and 'will have been' are possible, but there is difference in meaning.

He woke up late this morning, so he will be late for work.

We would use 'will be' when the person has not yet got to work and we are making a prediction about the future.


He woke up late this morning, so he will have been late for work.

We would use 'will have been' if the person is now at work and we are speculating about what time they arrived, and whether or not they were on time. This use of 'will' is speculating about an event which has already happened, but about which we are not certain.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hey Kirk,
Here mingle refers 'in relationship'. I was in a conversation with my friends, where, they were talking about relationships. Statement was ' being a single is so bore'. And my statement was the same that I mentioned above. Which I found wrong, so I wanted to recheck upon the same.
Thank you in advance


Hello again Suffi sharma,

I'm not familiar with that use of 'mingle', but that could be because it's slang or from another variety of English. If you've seen or heard it used similarly in several other contexts, then it might be acceptable in similar contexts. Unless it's relatively new slang, I wouldn't say most speakers of British or American English would completely understand it, either.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

My question is not relevant of the current page but just wanted to check upon the statement. Please let me know if this is wrong.

'There is no fun being a mingle as well.'


Hello Suffi sharma,

Our main purpose here in the comments is to answer questions about our site or questions that are directly related to it, though we try to help our users with other questions as well. In any case, we ask for your questions to be as specific as possible. What is it about this sentence that you are unsure of? To be honest, I don't understand it, mostly because I don't understand what you mean by 'mingle'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Team, Good Morning! When i was asked to be prepared for a meeting next week, is it correct to respond, I will have prepared for the meeting? Please correct me if i am in saying so.

Hello kprakashb,

That's correct. Other ways you might respond would be 'I'll be prepared for the meeting' or 'I'll be ready for the meeting' (the most natural way, in my opinion).

It is hard to be sure which of these is best without knowing the context or your relationship with your colleagues, however.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

"He will be tired because he will have been exercising so hard."

I came across this sentence on some other site and found two members arguing over the correct meaning of this sentence.
One argued the sentence meant "the person will be tired in future because of the exercise he will be doing, the exercise being already completed by the time he feels tired"; implying that the action of exercising will get stopped by then.
The other glued himself to the opinion that "he will be tired because of the exercise that will still be going on at that moment from some definite point of time in past"; implying that the action will be continuing at that moment.

I don't know if I have made my points clear or not but I hope I have done so.
So what I want to ask is which one is the correct explanation of the sentence?
Can anyone please help me through this?

Hello i.leonidas,

We normally don't comment on content from other sources, but since this is quite specific I'll tell you how I see it. The continuous aspect used here (in 'will have been exercising') can refer to different aspects of the action being described, so it's not actually completely clear without the context or more specific language. I'd say that it's more likely for the exercise to have finished at the time of speaking, but it is possible that it's still ongoing.

I hope that makes sense. 

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team