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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


Thank you very much.

Could anybody explain the meaning of the following sentence:
The New Company of the Year WILL HAVE GONE PUBLIC LAST YEAR? Why LAST year.
The sentence was taken from Pass Cambridge BEC Vantage Self-study practice tests, p.9.

Hello Natalia,

The future perfect can be used to say that you think that something happened in the past – that is the way it is being used in this sentence. This is quite an advanced form that is not used all that often, which is why you won't find it explained elsewhere on our site.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I will be learning in new technologies to get my position higher than now. (Future Continuous)
Most lady will be wearing make-up when they go for sitting interview. (Assuming)
I will have to change my job in next year. (Future Perfect with "in")
I will have to start own-business by the year 2020. (Future Perfect with "by")

Hi. I have a question about Future Perfect Continuous.
Is it possible to use 'since' in this tense, like to say that:
In 2020 I will have been living in France since 2017.
I know that since is generally used for the past but is it possible to use it anyhow in a future tense?? Thanks in advance for your answer.

I think you should be in France now

Hello kudlata,

Yes, you can use 'since' with the future perfect continuous – your sentence is perfect! Congratulations!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I'm confused by the last example:
"I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday."

Can I say: "I promise I'll finish all the work by next Saturday. " ?

What's the difference?


Hello cleaner,

Yes, you can say that. The two forms take slightly different perspectives on the event, but they mean the same thing. The form you asked about (with 'will') is more commonly used than the future perfect form.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

can i say "I think Alex will leave the quiz?" it doesn't satisfy any parallelism. 'think' is in the present tense and 'will leave' is in future. Is there anything wrong in my judgment? Kindly correct me please