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Future perfect

Future perfect construction: will/shall + have + past participle (shown, seen)

Example verb: commute

I will have commuted   We will have commuted
You will have commuted You (guys) will have commuted
He/she/it will have commuted   They will have commuted

The future perfect is used to talk about an action that will be completed by a specified time in the future

  • By 2020 I will have travelled to New Zealand.
  • She will have left her country to go abroad next year.
  • By next month they all will have received their promotion.
  • Next school year coming She’ll have learned/learnt how to drive.

We use the future perfect to talk about something that will continue up until another action occurs in the future

  • We will have been here for eight months when he arrives.
  • They shall have been with that shop for years by next Thursday.
  • Susana will have lived in Madrid for two years by next March when her friend arrives.

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

Note that, we can use the ‘be going to’ + have + past participle’ form as a substitute for the will + have + participle’ form as the future perfect tense

‘Am/is/are’ + ‘going’ + ‘to’ + ‘have’ + past participle

  • She is going to have lived in Paris for eight years by next December.
  • am going to have learned six languages if I continue my studying at this rate.

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

Lesson #27: Future perfect

Explanation

Construction: will/shall + have + past participle (lived, spoken, listened, closed)  

Example verb: text

I will have texted  We will have texted
You will have textedYou (guys) will have texted
He/she/it will have texted  They will have texted
  • The future perfect is used to say that an action will be completed by a specified time in the future.
  • We use the future perfect to talk about something that will continue up until another action occurs in the future.
  • Note that, we can use the ‘be going to + have + past participle’ form as a substitute for the ‘will + have + past participle’ form as the future perfect tense.  

Context

(At university)

  • What do you want to do when you leave school, Judith?
  • I want to become an engineer.
  • Sounds like hard work. How long do you expect to be at university for?1
  • Well, by next year I will have been at university for four years,2 and it’s going to be3 another two years before I graduate.
  • Six years! You’re going to have been at school4 for a hell of a long time.5 This is my last year, although I’m studying linguistics which is probably not quite as hard as6 engineering, for sure.
  • I’m aware that, by the time I graduate, it’ll have been a long time,7 but working8 as a civil engineer is what I have always wanted.9
  • So, do you reckon you’ll have got10 a job in the construction sector just after you graduate?
  • I’m fairly confident I will, yes.
  • Good luck to you.
  • Catch you later.
  • Bye

Analysis

  1. How long do you expect to be at university for? The preposition in this question ‘for’ can go either at the end or the beginning. I.e. For how long do you expect to be at university?
  2. By next year I will have been at university for four years. The future perfect ‘will have been’ is being used to specify an experience ‘at university’ that will complete at a fixed point in the future.
  3. It’s going to be. The ‘be going to’ form is also interchangeable with the future simple ‘will’. I.e. It will be.
  4. You’re going to have been at school. The form ‘be going to + have + past participle’ is exactly the same as ‘will + have + been’. I.e. You’ll have been at school…
  5. For a hell of a long time. The expression ‘hell of a’ is quite common and is used to mean ‘a lot of’. I.e. That’s a hell of a lot of lollies. A hell of a lot of money.
  6. I’m studying linguistics, which is probably not quite as hard as engineering, for sure. The construction ‘as + adjective + as’ is used to make two things or people equally comparable. I.e. She’s as nice as me. I’m as tall as my father.
  7. I’m aware that, by the time I graduate, it’ll have been a long time. The future perfect ‘it’ll have been’ is used here to talk about something that will continue up until another action occurs in the future.
  8. But working. The gerund form of ‘work’ is ‘working’ and it is being used as the subject of the sentence here. Gerunds can be used as subjects and objects of sentences and questions in English. I.e. I like swimming. Running is fun.
  9. But working as a civil engineer is what I have always wanted. The present perfect ‘I have always wanted’ is being used here because the experience of ‘wanting’, due to its nature, continues until the present moment. Therefore, the present perfect is used and not the past simple.
  10. So, do you reckon you’ll have got a job… Fun fact: in British English, the past participle of ‘get’ is ‘got’, whereas in American English the past participle is ‘gotten’. British English: get – got – got. American English: get – got – gotten.

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