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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 munish,

The Quick grammar is not a comprehensive grammar – instead, it's a list of topics that we've found many learners ask about. The English grammar is more comprehensive and does not include a section on the future tense because in fact, in the view of many grammarians, including Dave Willis, the author of this section, there is no future tense in English! This comes down to how you define a tense, which is an issue we're really not all that interested in here at LearnEnglish. But the talking about the future page is the page with the most information about this topic, though there are others – try searching for 'future' using our search facility (at the top right of the page).

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir / Ma'm,

Could you provide a brief explanation of the differences between these four (mentioned below):-

a) I asked
b) I have asked
c) I had asked
d) I have been asked

Kindly give some exaple for these four, by which we (the beginner) may understand the exact differences between the time frames of these four.

Earnestly waiting for an answer. Please help me.

Thanking you.

Warm Regards,
Shruti Aurora

Hello Shruti Aurora,

I'm afraid it's not possible to give you a brief answer. What you are asking is a huge question: there are four verb forms here with multiple meanings, different in different contexts and with meanings that depend upon other parts of the sentence. It would be possible to write a book in answer to your question!

What I suggest is that you use the grammar section, especially the section on verbs, to study these forms. Then, if you have any specific questions we'll be happy to try to help.

The names of the forms are

a) past simple

b) present perfect

c) past perfect

d) present perfect passive

You can find links to these in the verbs part of the grammar section.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

May I know if following sentence is correct? Can future perfect be used in this context?

The manager wants the team to start thinking about the project plan and the team will have updated him before end of next month.

Hello kstan,

Yes, that is fine, grammatically speaking - other than the missing definite article before 'end'. However, I think a better option stylistically and for clarity would be:

The manager wants the team to start thinking about the project plan and for them to update him before the end of next month.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

"You don't need to know that what am i doing" Is this a correct sentence

Hello Shali,

No, that is not correct. It would be correct if it were without 'that':

You don't need to know what am i doing.

I have one request for you: please try to post questions on relevant pages. This page is about future continuous and future perfect, and your question is not about those forms. Posting questions on relevant pages means the questions and answers can be seen by people learning about those issues and are therefore more useful.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please tell me what's the correct option in this question? and let me know its reason.
David: When are you going to the club, do you know?
(Nick goes to the club every Friday)
Nick: I (will have gone / will be going / will have been) there next Friday.
Thanks a lot.

Hello F.Hasani,

The middle option ('will be going') is the one that makes most sense to me, because the two future perfect forms don't seem to have anything to do with the idea of completion, though they are possibly correct. What sort of exercise is this? Perhaps the teacher who gave you this exercise can explain it better. 

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello F.Hasani,

The difference between the future perfect and future continuous is explained above, and the exercise is designed to help you check your understanding of it. If you have any specific questions about it, then we're happy to help, but we don't generally explain grammar that's already explained on one of our pages.

The difference between 'will have gone' and 'will have been' is the difference between 'go' and 'be', though please note that 'have been (to a place)' is often used to mean that one has visited a place, i.e. gone there and returned home. Both forms are a bit unusual in talking about an activity that takes place every week - that's why I preferred the middle answer.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team