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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 everyone,i am pleased to be part of this website.
I want to know about 'ought to'.
1.What's its definition?
2.which form of verb that is? can i use it?Give clarification with instance.

Hello SunnyMunder,

'ought' and 'should' are used in mostly the same way - you can see definitions and examples in our dictionary (see the search box on the right). Although there is some disagreement over whether 'ought' is a modal verb (like 'should'), it works like a modal verb with the exception that the to + infinitive form is used after it (instead of the bare infinitive form that occurs after the other modal verbs).

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! I'd like to know the difference between will and shall when used in the future perfect tense since the formula is: will/ shall+ have+past participle. When do we use will or shall in a future perfect sentence? Please give me examples. Also, Id like to know if comma is used even when the time expression is placed in the end part of the sentence. For example: I will have finished my project, by tomorrow.

hello. shall we greet?

Hello iceLucian,

Traditionally, 'shall' was used with first person verb subjects, i.e. 'I' and 'we', but this use is quite uncommon nowadays. In other words, most of the time you will see or hear 'I/we will' instead of 'I/we shall', and I would recommend that you use 'will' instead of 'shall'. This is also true when you're forming the future perfect with 'will have'.

As for your question regarding the comma, no, a comma is not normally used in that way, i.e. the correct punctuation is: 'I will have finished my project by tomorrow'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hello everyone,

I would like to know, where i can get tenses in this site, like present, past, future...

Hi karunesh,

The Verbs section of our Grammar Reference has a lot of pages on different verb forms. See the English Grammar box on the top right of the page and click on the links you're interested in there.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again,

Firstly, I want to thank you for your answer.
And secondly I want to ask you what is the correct form: 'adviser' or 'advisor'? I know they mean the same thing but still I have a doubt when I can use a specific form.

Thank you in advance,

Hello Raluca,

Both versions are acceptable spellings and can be used interchangeably.  I have seen it suggested that 'advisor' is more common when it is an official title, whereas 'adviser' has a more general meaning of anyone who gives advice at a given moment, but certainly neither is wrong in either case.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone!

I’m a new member of your team and I need guidance on this particular case - what is the correct form of:

In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.
In 5 year's time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

I mean: with or without apostrophe in the expression "years time".

Have a nice day / evening!