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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

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


1. I am going to study for Master degree this year.
2. I will be studying for Master degree this year.
Which one is correct? Please explain me.
Is it correct using Master degree?

Hello Htoo Sandi Soe Moe,

Both are possible. The first version (with going to) suggests that this is your plan or intention but may change. The second version (with will be studying) suggests that the situation is certain and no longer just a plan or a hope.



The LearnEnglish Team

Which one is correct?
A)I will turn 20 in 2 weeks' time.
B)I am turning 20 in 2 weeks' time.
C)I am gonna turn 20 in 2 weeks' time.
D)I will be turning 20 in 2 weeks' time.
I think the answer is A, because we use future simple for the things which will definetly happen and we cannot control, but the answer is D. I am confused.Can you help please?

Hello Ayn,

All of those sentences are correct. Future forms are often a matter of choice: how the speaker sees the action and what the speaker chooses to emphasise. Without any context to indicate this, you could use any of these forms and none of them are impossible.



The LearnEnglish Team

Can you explain how D is possible please?

Hello again Ayn,

We often use [will be + verb-ing] to talk about things that occur as part of the normal course of events. This form signals that we expect something to happen and see it as normal and unsurprising.


You can read more about future forms on this page:



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks sir, but I think we can use future simple for the things which will definetly happen and not surprising, can't we?

In the grammar book I have been looking for, it was written that we use future simple for the things which will definetly happen and we cannot control.

Hello again Ayn,

Yes, we can. As I said, future forms are often a matter of choice. The speaker can choose from several possibilities, depending on the context and the speaker's intention. In some contexts there may be a difference in meaning but in others only a difference in emphasis. This is why context is so important and why exercises which do not provide a context are often not very helpful.


For example:

I'll have dinner at 4.00.

I'll be having dinner at 4.00.

Here there is a difference. In the first sentence, the meal starts at 4.00. In the second sentence the meal will be in progress at 4.00 and will start earlier than this.


I will turn 20 in two weeks.

I'll be turning 20 in two weeks.

Here the only difference is one of style and emphasis.



The LearnEnglish Team

Is this rewrite correct?
Peter’s class starts at 7.
At 7.30 Peter will have started the class.
Or should it be
By 7.30?

Hello Jaiime_edg,

Both versions of the sentence (with 'At' and 'By') are grammatically correct, though 'by' is probably better here. I'd recommend something like 'Class will have started by 7.30'. This doesn't communicate exactly the same information as the original sentence, but it's pretty close.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team