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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 again Ayn,

Yes, we can. As I said, future forms are often a matter of choice. The speaker can choose from several possibilities, depending on the context and the speaker's intention. In some contexts there may be a difference in meaning but in others only a difference in emphasis. This is why context is so important and why exercises which do not provide a context are often not very helpful.


For example:

I'll have dinner at 4.00.

I'll be having dinner at 4.00.

Here there is a difference. In the first sentence, the meal starts at 4.00. In the second sentence the meal will be in progress at 4.00 and will start earlier than this.


I will turn 20 in two weeks.

I'll be turning 20 in two weeks.

Here the only difference is one of style and emphasis.



The LearnEnglish Team

Is this rewrite correct?
Peter’s class starts at 7.
At 7.30 Peter will have started the class.
Or should it be
By 7.30?

Hello Jaiime_edg,

Both versions of the sentence (with 'At' and 'By') are grammatically correct, though 'by' is probably better here. I'd recommend something like 'Class will have started by 7.30'. This doesn't communicate exactly the same information as the original sentence, but it's pretty close.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello this tests are very good because I am of de calle

Hello, I have troubles understanding in which situations should I use following sentences.
I am reading a book tomorrow.
I will be reading a book tomorrow.
I am going to be reading a book tomorrow.

Hello David7417,

It's difficult to explain these sorts of differences without a specific context or the speaker's intentions, but maybe this will help. The first and third sentences could be used to indicate that you plan to read a book tomorrow. The first one makes it sound as if you have a very firm plan that will not change; the third one is less firm, but clearly states your intention to read the book.

The second one could be used in many different contexts, but in general it shows that you're thinking about tomorrow as a period of time in which you'll be reading. It could be that you planned to be reading (as in the first and third sentences) and someone asks you if you'll join them for lunch as usual, but you say that you can't because you'll be reading a book tomorrow.

But there are many other possible situations in which you could use a continuous form. I'd suggest you pay attention for this form as you read and listen to texts in English so that you can analyse how it's used.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team


Is this rewrite correct?

Peter’s class starts at 7.
At 7.30 Peter will have started the class.
Or should it be
By 7.30?

Hello mikel,

Both at and by are possible here.

In both sentences you are looking back and speculating about a past event.

If you say at then you are suggesting that the class began at 7.30 and are looking back from a later point (7.45, 8.00 etc).

If you say by then you are saying that the class started before this time, but you do not know exactly when.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Sir
I was wondering if the sentences are correct:
'- This building will have been finishing next month.'
'- This building will have finished by next month.'
Thank you.