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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


Hello sunrisereham,

A lot of these distinctions depend on the context, so it's hard to differentiate all examples.

I'll be thinking of you when you go into hospital  -  this means the person will do this repeatedly or continuously while the person is in hospital, not just once.

I'll will think of you when you go into hospital  -  this suggests that the person will think about them once, not repeatedly.

I will be writing to you  -  ('to', I think, not 'for') this really depends on the context. It could mean regularly (the most likely option), or it could mean that the action will be in progress at a certain time (less likely, but possible).


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Sir

Hello, Sir according to use the future continuous to talk about what we assume is happening at the moment.
Don’t phone grandma now, she’ll be having dinner.
The kids are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong, I know it!
what the difference if I say
she is having dinner
they are doing something wrong
And I have read this topic recently:
We use will (or won't) to indicate that we think a present situation is certain
You will know that John and Sheila are engaged. (= you already know)
If I say you know that John and Sheila are engaged is that correct too?
Thank you, Sir

Hello sunrisereham,

When we use 'will be [verb]ing' we are guessing based on what we expect at a given time. When we use 'are [verb]ing' we are sure.

Similarly, in your second example when you use 'will' you are saying 'this is what I expect to be the case', while when you use the present simple you are stating a fact which is certain.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Sir

hi all i'm new here but l've really learned a lots of things thank you a lot

Hello, Sir
What is the difference between future continuous and present continuous for talking about future in those examples:
At 8 o'clock I will be travelling tomorrow
Next Friday the president will be clebreting ten years in power
At 8 o'clock I'm traveling tomorrow
Next Friday the president is celebrating ten years in power
Thank you

Hello sunrisereham,

The present continuous is used to talk about fixed events in the future in a more general way and the future continuous to speak about events that are expected to happen in the normal course of events, almost as if they were inevitable. This is especially true in the case of the president above – there's little that can stop the fact that he'll have been in power for 10 years. In the case of the person travelling, there could be the sense that this plan isn't changeable or was imposed on the person from the outside – it really depends on the context.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team



These are different forms of the verb.

'Make' is an infinitive or present form.

'Made' is a past simple or past participle form.

These are fundamental verb forms and their use is detailed on relevant pages in the grammar section on verbs - here. For questions like this - very broad and general questions about fundamental aspects of the grammatical system - the comments section is not really a good place, but the grammar section contains this information and you can work through it at your own pace.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team