Tenses

Future Perfect

We use the Future Perfect tense to talk about actions that will be finished before some point in the future. We also use this tense to express situations that will last for a specified period of time at a definite moment in the future. The last use is to express certainty that an action was completed. Generally we can say that the Future Perfect relates to the past in the future.

Subject + WILL HAVE + past participle of the main verb
  • I will have graduated from university by May.
  • Patrick will have lived in Hong Kong for 20 years by the next month.
  • The train will have left by now.
  • She will have been pregnant for six months tomorrow.

Use

  1. Completion before a specified point in the future
  2. Actions or situations that will last in the future (for a specified time)
  3. Certainty that an action was completed

Use 1: Completion before a Specified Point in the Future

The first use of this tense is to talk about future actions that will be finished before some specified point in the future:

  • The football player will have signed the contract by the beginning of July.
  • Before they come, we will have cleaned up the house.
  • John will have eaten the whole cake, by the time the birthday party starts!

Use 2: Duration in the Future

Another use of this tense is to talk about actions will last after a given point in the future:

  • I will have been in Denver for exactly forty years by 2012.
  • Jane will have worked as a doctor for fifteen years by the end of this month.
  • By the next year, I will have known Monica for 30 years.

Use 3: Certainty about the Near Past

The last use is to express conviction (confidence, belief) that something happened in the near past:

  • The train will have left by now. We have to look for another way to get there. (I'm sure the train has left.)
  • The guests will have arrived at the hotel by now. (I'm sure the guests have arrived at the hotel.)
  • The plane will have taken off by now, so don’t rush to the airport. (I’m sure the plane has taken off.)

Building the Future Perfect sentences we often use the common time expressions such as: 

  • by
  • by the time
  • before
  • by tomorrow/7 o'clock/next month
  • until/till

Form

Declarative Sentences

Subject

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Past participle

e.g. I/a dog etc.

will

have

e.g. eaten/given/gone etc.

Contracted forms 

WILL = 'LL

Example:

  • She'll have finished = She will have finished.

WILL + NOT = WON'T

Example:

  • She won't have finished = She will not have finished.
The Future Perfect appears in two forms: will form and going to form which can be used interchangeably:
  • She will have finished = She is going to have finished.

 

Examples

Use (click to read)

will have retired by the end of this year. 1
I read 40 pages a day. If I keep up the pace, I will have read the book by Tuesday. 1

Questions

Auxiliary verb

+

Subject

+

Auxiliary verb

+

Past participle

will

e.g. I/a dog etc.

have

e.g. eaten/given/gone etc.

 

Examples

Use (click to read)

Will they have graduated from Cambridge by July 2009? 1
Will I have retired by the end of the year? 1
Will you have bought a new mobile by the end of this week? 1

Negative Sentences

Subject

 

+

Auxiliary verb + not

 

+

Auxiliary verb

 

+

Past participle

e.g. I/a dog etc.

will not

have

e.g. eaten/given/gone etc.

 

Examples

Use (click to read)

They won't have graduated from from Cambridge by July 2009. 1
My uncle won't have retired by the end of the year. 1

Check your understanding!