Read about making and using the 'future perfect' below. Then, when you are ready, try these practice exercises to practise using the 'future perfect simple' and 'future perfect continuous'.
Using the 'future perfect'
Future perfect simple
In grammar, 'perfect' can mean "before". The future perfect can mean you think something will finish before a time in the future. We usually use this with 'by' or 'by the time'.
By 2050, I'll have retired.
If you don't slow down, you'll have eaten all the popcorn before the film starts!
'Perfect' can also mean "until". The future perfect can mean you think something will start before a time in the future and not be finished. In the example below, he got married in 2015, and in 2030 he'll still be married. You should say for how long so this meaning is often with the preposition for.
By 2030, he'll have been married for 15 years.
Future perfect continuous
In the examples above, we are talking about a finished action or a continuing state, so we use the perfect simple. However, if we are talking about actions which are not finished, we can use the perfect continuous. In the first example below, the verb "be" is a state, in the second, "teach" is an action.
By 2030, I'll have been a teacher for 20 years.
By 2030, I'll have been teaching English for 20 years.
Look at this lesson about state and action verbs if you need more information.
How to make the future perfect simple
We make the future perfect simple with will have + past participle. It is the same for all people (I, you, he ...).
Positive: They'll have finished work by 6pm.
Negative: They won't have finished work by 6pm.
Question: Will they have finished work by 6pm?
How to make the future perfect continuous
We make the future perfect continuous with will have been + verb-ing. It is the same for all people (I, you, he ...).
Positive: By 6pm she'll have been playing football for 5 hours.
Negative: By 6pm she won't have been playing football for long.
Question: How long will she have been playing football?
Future perfect: advanced points
A common use of 'will' is for making predictions. However, predictions aren't only for the future. With the future perfect, you can predict what happened before now (in the past). For example:
She's driving a new BMW. That won't have been cheap!
= I'm sure that wasn't cheap!
Now try these exercises to practise using the 'future perfect simple' and 'future perfect continuous'.