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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

Comments

Hello. Could you please help me? What is the difference between the following sentences?
- This time tomorrow, my mother will have had an operation.
- This time tomorrow, my mother will have an operation.
- This time tomorrow, my mother will be having an operation.
Thank you so much.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

This time tomorrow, my mother will have had an operation.

In this sentence, the operation will be completed at the time specified.

 

This time tomorrow, my mother will have an operation.

In this sentence, the operation will take place (probably begin) at the time specified.

 

This time tomorrow, my mother will be having an operation.

In this sentence, the operation will be in progress (beginning before and not having finished) at the time specified.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

what about the use of there is/are in future continuous? is it grammatically correct?

there + will be + noun/subject + gerund

there will be guests coming tomorrow.
there will be latecomers trying to get in for free.

does the intersertion of a noun/subject in the middle of the "will be + gerund"?

Hello grammarly,

The sentences are both grammatically correct.

This is not actually a future continuous form, but rather a present participle (the -ing form) with an adjectival role (describing the noun). It is not a gerund, which would function as a noun.

 

You can make similar sentences with other forms of 'be':

There are latecomers trying to get in for free.

There were latecomers trying to get in for free.

You can also use other verbs:

Paul saw latecomers trying to get in for free.

John will check for latecomers trying to get in for free.

I don't want latecomers trying to get in for free.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team ,

I need your comment on below two statements.

The film will have finished by mid night.
The film will have been watching for 3 hours by midnight.

Hi Shoaib50,

The second sentence is not grammatically correct: people watch films; films do not watch anything.

The first sentence is fine, though 'midnight' is one word, not two.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.
Is the following sentence correct using the future perfect?
"The moment the train has reached the station, my secretary will have been there to welcome you. "
Thank you.

Hello again. Could please help me?
Is the following sentence correct using the future perfect or we must use the future simple? I think that future perfect is not correct.
"The moment the train has reached the station, my secretary "will have been"/"will be" there to welcome you. "
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam

Yes, you are right -- the future perfect doesn't work in that situation and the future simple would be the most natural option.

Sorry we somehow missed your earlier comment.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!
This sentence seems right when I hear it said.
"When I pay him tomorrow, he will have received everything I owe him"
However I am confused with the following.
(1) I believe the rule for usage of the future perfect verb is that it needs to be used to indicate an action that happened before the action indicated by the simple future verb
(2) The act of receiving can happen only after the act of paying
I am confused with these two contradicting thoughts. Appreciate your clarification.

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