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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Hello Ahmed Imam,

1 is possible but 2 more clearly states that the application will begin before 2030. Perhaps that's why your colleagues prefer it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again, Kirk. I think the future perfect means that the action (applying) will no longer happen after 2030 and so I think it's not the intended meaning, right?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The future perfect does indeed mean that the application will be finished by 2030. Part of the issue here is the exacting meaning of 'apply' in this context.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ahmed Imam,

I'm sorry that wasn't clear. The problem is that I don't understand the purpose of the sentences that you're asking about, or exactly what they are supposed to mean.

As you say, 'All Egyptian schools will have applied E-learning by 2030' indicates that the application of e-learning will be completed before 2030. But what does it mean to 'apply e-learning'?

If 'apply e-learning' means that new ways of learning with technology will be implemented -- that is, that these new methods will start being used -- then it doesn't mean that e-learning won't be taking place after 2030. What I understand is that it means that all of the planned actions to introduce e-learning will be completed by 2030, but that this does not mean that e-learning will stop being used in 2030.

Hope that makes sense.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mr. Ahmed Imam,

No. 1: Future Simple Tense. Will / shall + root form of the verb)
It is used to talk about things that haven’t happened yet / to talk about an action or condition that will begin and end in the future.

No. 2: Future Perfect Tense. (Will have / won't have + past participle)
It is used to talk about something that will be completed before a specific time in the future.

I think that’s why some teachers prefer the second one.

All the very best sir,

Submitted by LitteBlueGreat on Thu, 25/11/2021 - 07:42


Hello, there's something makes me confused

In three years' time, I'll be studying medicine.

What I can infer from the above is

Will the studying medicine begin in 2024 if today is in 2021
The studying medicine just starts at time in the future (let's say tommorow in 2021 ) and finish at time in 2024?

Which one do you think is wrong Sir?

Hi LitteBlueGreat,

Actually, that sentence doesn't tell us when the studying begins or ends. It just tells us that the studying will be in progress at that time (in three years' time = in 2024). So, the start must be before 2024, and the end must be after 2024, but that's all we can know from the sentence.

The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry sir If I ask you a lot but Does this sentence have the same meaning like the above?

We'll be starting (the meeting) at six o'clock.

I've come across the sentence on Cambridge Dictionary.

So if the speaker mentions the time point at 6 oclock Does it mean that the meeting actually starts before 6 oclock? Considering that "Start" here is in continuous form..

This verb "start" always makes me puzzled moreover in continuous form. Thanks