Future perfect tense

Future perfect tense


We use ‚future perfect tense‘ to say that an action will be finished or completed by a certain moment in the future.

We also use it when we want to say that an action will have lasted for some time at a certain point in the future.


will have + past participle or a regular verb + ed

is/are going to have + past participle or a regular verb + ed (less common)


I will have done the project by the boss arrives.

She will have been married for 12 years this summer.

He will have done all his exams by next Tuesday.

Tom is playing tennis from 6pm to 7pm; it’s 6.15 now and Jake wants to call him.

I’ll say to Jake: ‚Wait and call Tom after 7 o’clock. He will have finished playing by then.

Meaning: The action (playing tennis) will be over at 7pm.

Mary bought a house in September 2009, so in September 2013 it will have been 4 years since she bought the house.

Future perfect continuous


We use it when talking about continuous activity into the future.

As with all continuous tenses, it can’t be use with certain verbs.


will have been + verb + ing


At 6pm tonight she will have been playing the piano for 28 hours.

This September I will have been teaching for 3 years.

By next Monday, the new machinery will have been working at 100% output.

If he can keep it up, he will have been swimming for 16 hours at 8pm tonight.

She will have been working there for 3 years next week and still no pay rise.

Some verbs are not usually used in progressive form, e.g.:

  • verbs of senses: feel, hear, see, smell, sound, taste
  • verbs of feelings: love, hate, like, want, fear, respect, admire, adore, dislike, wish, prefer, impress, concern
  • verbs of mental activity: agree, believe, expect, know, mean, remember, trust, understand, recognise, realise, suppose, imagine, doubt
  • verbs of possession: belong, own, owe, possess
  • other verbs: astonish, appear, deny, seem, surprise, consist, include, fit, involve

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