Future Perfect Tense. Free English Lesson with Test and Certificate.
Quick Future Perfect Tense study for SAT, IELTS, TESOL and other exams.
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How to use the future perfect tense in English
The future perfect tense is used to talk about something that will occur before another action in the future, or before a specific time in the future. For example, “by next week, I will have received my new school books.”
Here’s a few more examples:
- Will she have learned enough English to communicate before she goes to California?
- By the time I finish this course, I will have taken thirty tests.
- You will have graduated from University by the time you turn 23 years old.
Your English lesson about the Future Perfect Tense
Welcome to the Future Perfect Lesson! In this lesson, you will learn many of the general rules about the future perfect tense, its structure, and its common uses.
As always, it is really important to pay attention to the examples – and not just the rules – so you can learn how to use these words naturally.
If you are preparing for a test this week or next week, you can memorize the rules and do well in your test.
However, if you hope to become a fluent English speaker, you will need to practice listening for these different grammar forms and, of course, you should practice using them yourself.
It is hard to learn a foreign language, but you’ll get there if you stick to it! Let’s get started!
The future perfect tense is used to express the idea that something will occur before another action or before a specific time in the future.
By next week, I will have received my new school books.
Before we get home, I am going to have finished this entire bag of potato chips.
I will have finished studying by the time you get here.
Will she have learned enough English to communicate before she moves to California?
Alex is going to have completed the project before the end of the month.
By the time I finish this course, I will have taken thirty tests.
As you may have noticed in the above example sentences, the future perfect tense has two different forms, "will have done" and "be going to have done." For the most part, you can use either form in most cases with no difference in meaning. It is just a matter of personal preference.
First, let’s look at the future perfect with "will". This form looks like this.
[will have + past participle]
Here are some examples of the same sentence. One is positive, the second is in the question form, and the third sentence is negative.
You will have graduated from University by the time you turn 23 years old.
Will you have graduated from University by the time you turn 23 years old?
You will not have graduated from University by the time you turn 23 years old.
To form a negative sentence with will, we add the word not after the word will instead of after the main verb.
To form a question using will, we must reverse the order of the subject and will. In a question, will should be placed before the subject.
More future perfect tense exercises
Now, let’s see how the future perfect is constructed with "be going to"
The formula is:
[am/is/are + going to have + past participle]
A very common use of the future perfect is to state the completed action before something in the future. See the examples below:
You are going to have made a lot of money before you retire.
Are you going to have made a lot of money before you retire?
You are not going to have made a lot of money before you retire.
We use the future perfect to show that something will continue up until another action in the future. This form looks like this:
I will have been studying English for six hours by the time I leave.
By Monday, Rose is going to have had my math book for a week.
The third use of the future perfect tense is to express that something about the recent past is certain. This sounds complicated, but after you look at the examples, I think it will be clear.
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)
Final note. REMEMBER - No Future in Time Clauses
Like all future forms, the future perfect cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. The present perfect should be used instead.
Here’s an incorrect sentence:
We are going to eat dinner when I will have finished my homework.
And here’s the correct version:
We are going to eat dinner when I have finished my homework.
It’s story time
Now that we’ve learned a lot about the future perfect tense, let’s see how this is used in a short story. As you read the following story, pay attention to how the future perfect tense is used.
“The piano competition will be in June, so I have to start practicing now,” said Mark. The competition will take place in London, so we will have flown in an airplane for six hours by the time we get there.
At the time of the competition, he will have prepared for ten months. “Will ten months be long enough to get ready?” asked John. Mark plans to practice for two hours every day. So, when it is time for the competition, he will have practiced for many hours. “Ten months will have to be enough,” said Mark.
“Have you ever been overseas before?” John asked. “No,” said Mark, “this will actually be my first time on an airplane.” Mark continued, “However, after this next competition, I will have performed in four different competitions.”
Mark has performed very well in previous competitions. But, this competition will be different. He will have to practice harder, and play better than he has ever played before. All of the participants in this competition will be winners of other competitions. Only the best young piano players in the world were invited to play in London.
It will be very exciting to go to London. Mark will have studied piano for many years before he goes to London. His parents will have spent huge amounts of money on his piano education. It will be a very big moment in his young career as a pianist.
That’s the end of the lesson on the future perfect tense.
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