Future Perfect Continuous

Basic form

Subject + WILL HAVE BEEN + Verb (past participle form)

Quick examples

  • By the next year, I will have been working as a teacher for 30 years.
  • We will be making a rest stop in half an hour, because you will have been driving the car for 6 hours by then.

We use the Future Perfect Continuous tense to express situations that will last for a specified period of time at a definite moment in the future. We also use this tense to express certainty about the cause of some future situation.

Use

  1. Duration at a definite moment in the future
  2. Cause of a future situation

USE 1: Duration

We use this tense to express situations that will last for a specified period of time at a definite moment in the future. It is important that we expect these situations to last longer.

  • Before they come, we will have been cleaning the house for 5 hours.
  • By the next year, Ben and his wife will have been living together for 50 years.

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[ By the next month, I will have been saving money for a new house for 4 years ]

Common Time Expressions

Time expressions that are commonly used with the Future Perfect Continuous:

  • By tomorrow / 8 o'clock
  • This year / month / week
  • Next year / month / week

USE 2: Cause

English speakers also use this tense when they want to express certainty about the cause of some future situation.

  • By this time, he will have been working for 12 hours, so he will be very tired.
  • We will be making a rest stop in half an hour, because you will have been driving the car for 6 hours by then.

Form

Contracted forms (more)

Positive Sentences

Subject + Auxiliary verb + Auxiliary verb + Auxiliary verb + Verb + ing
e.g. I/a dog etc. will have been e.g. eating/giving/going etc.
    Examples Use
    We will have been driving 6 hours by the time we get home. (Use 1)
    In the summer Mike will have been trying to find a new job for five months. (Use 1)
    Jane will be very tired when she comes home, because she will have been flying over 24 hours. (Use 1)
    My father and I will have been breeding sheep for 20 years tomorrow. (Use 1)
    By the year 2020, linguists will have been studying and defining the Indo-European language family for more than 200 years. (Use 1)
Note

If duration of an activity (e.g. "since April", "for three hours") is unknown then the Future Continuous should be used instead of the Perfect Form.

Example:
  • I will be taking a bath.
  • I will have been taking a bath.

Negative Sentences

Subject + Auxiliary verb + Auxiliary verb + Auxiliary verb + Verb + ing
e.g. I/a dog etc. will not have been e.g. eating/giving/going etc.
    Examples Use
    She won't have been writing the book for four months by the end of October. (Use 1)
Note

Negative sentences sound rather unnatural. This is probably because the answer to a question like, "Will she have been teaching for 30 years this year?", would simply be, "No, I don't think so".

Questions

Auxiliary verb + Subject + Auxiliary verb + Auxiliary verb + Verb + ing
will e.g. I/a dog etc. have been e.g. eating/giving/going etc.
Examples Use
Will he have been writing the composition for a month by the end of February? (Use 1)
Good to know

Questions beginning with "how long" are more common.

  • How long will you have been learning German this year?
  • How long will you have been trying to get your driving license this week? I hope you'll finally make it!

Check your understanding!

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