In this lesson, we will look at the future perfect. We have already looked at the future continuous in Level B1.

Here are examples of each form:

The future continuous: He will be working tomorrow afternoon.

The future perfect: He will have worked 8 hours by the end of the day.

The future perfect construction:

The future perfect is made with the future simple of ‘have’ (will have) and the past participle. For regular past participles add ‘ed’ to the verb (‘play’ becomes ‘played’).

The future perfect meaning:

The future perfect is a tense used for actions that will be completed before some other point in the future. Remember that the future continuous talks about actions that will be in progress at some point in the future.

A simple way to identify and remember the difference is that a future perfect tense has an end time, whereas the future continuous simply tells you something is ongoing in the future (the focus in not on something having been completed or finished).

Here are some more examples:

  • It will be raining all afternoon tomorrow. (future continuous)
  • It will have stopped raining by tomorrow evening. (future perfect – it has an end point)
  • Don’t call after 6pm – I will be watching the football match. (future continuous)
  • You can call after 9pm – the football match will have finished by then. (future perfect – it has an end point)
  • I’m retiring soon – this time next week I will be digging in the garden! (future continuous)
  • I will have retired by this time next week – I can’t spend more time in the garden! (future perfect – it has an end point)