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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

Are you doing anything interesting this weekend? - you ask about arrangements, already planned activities. The probable answers will be:
- Yes, I'm going to the beach.
- No I still haven't planned anything yet.

Will you be doing anything interesting this weekend? - you ask about intentions, what a person is willing to do. You can form your question this way and the meaning will stay the same 'Do you want to do anything interesting this weekend'?
So, use present continuous when you ask about arrangements
and
future continuous when you ask about intentions.
Is my explanation useful or do you need further clarification on the subject?

Hello bellataylor,

Both of these are possible.

The first (are you doing...) is a question about arrangements and things which are already decided.

The second (will you be doing...) is a general question which could refer to plans, intentions or just hopes.

The difference in this context is tiny. It is really only about the kind of answers the speaker expects, and you can use them interchangeably.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

How can I send you an attachment with my question?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

There is no facility for sending attachments. We generally answer questions relating to our own material, not to materials (tests or other material) from elsewhere so if your question relates to something like that then I'm afraid it is outside of out area in any case.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Could you help me please?
Are both of these forms correct or only one? If so, what is the difference in meaning between them: Experts think that Cairo (will grow - will have grown) by more than half a million people next year.
thank you

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The first sentence is correct. It tells us tells us what the speaker believes will happen next year.

 

The second sentence needs a little change:

Experts think that Cairowill have grown by more than half a million people by next year.

Experts think that Cairowill have grown by more than half a million people by the middle of next year.

Experts think that Cairowill have grown by more than half a million people by the end of next year.

We use [will have + past participle] when we are talking about something which will happen before a time in the future. We don't know or don't say exactly when it will happen, but we know it will be before a certain point.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

The following sentences are from Future perfect simple (I will have worked eight hours) English Grammar Today Cambridge Dictionary. No. 1 and 3 have "next year" without "By" and they use the future perfect
1- Next month my parents will have been together for thirty years.
2- At the end of this month, they will have been in their house for one year.
3- Next month I will have worked for the company for six years.
Thank you

Hello Ahmed Imam,

That's correct. What would you like to ask us about?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Another problem, please: What is meant by each one of these?
By the end of next year, the government will build a new school in the village.
By the end of next year, the government will have built a new school in the village.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

In this context there is very little difference.

Both sentences tell us that the completion of the school will be before the end of next year. The difference is that in the first sentence the building has not yet begun. In the second sentence we do not know if it has begun or not.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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