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Future perfect – passive

There are several reasons as to why we use the passive voice in English. In these notes, we’re going to focus on the future perfect in the passive voice and its elaborations. Generally, we use the passive when the focus is on the action and NOT on WHO or WHAT is performing the action.

Construction: will + have + been + past participle (come, enjoyed)

Example verb: look for

I will have been looked for  We will have been looked for
You will have been looked forYou (guys) will have been looked for
He/she/it will have been looked for  They will have been looked for

The agent is unknown. We don’t know who or what is the agent 

  • Stonehenge will have been visited by at least another thousand visitors by the end of this year.

We use the passive to emphasise the subject

  • The new drug will have been implemented within the pharmaceutical companies by this year.

We use the passive to talk about general truths

  • The speed of light will not have been exceeded by any type of craft at any point in the future.

The passive is used if we want to be unclear or vague about the subject

  • Anti-corruption policies are what will not have been dealt with. (We don’t know which types of policies exactly).

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

We use the passive when the subject is irrelevant

(We don’t care who or what has caused the action to be). 

  • Many tourists will have been expected to arrive in Spain and Greece this year and the next. (The focus is on the countries Spain and Greece and not on the tourists).  

We use the passive in a more formal atmosphere like a thesis or an important piece of writing, especially scientifically speaking

  • Fossil fuels will have been found lacking in any search conducted by the year 2050.

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

Lesson #40: Future perfect – passive

Explanation

Construction: will + have + been + past participle (noted, sold)

Example verb: see

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

Context

  • How long have you been studying at the university for, Ann?1
  • This is my third year, so I’ve been studying for three years.2
  • So, by next year will your studies have been finished then?3
  • That’s what I’m hoping for, yes.
  • Are you thinking about doing a masters?
  • If I do a masters it’ll add another two years onto my studies,4 and to be honest I prefer to enter the work force immediately.
  • Fair enough.5 We’ll talk again next year. Best of luck.
  • Thanks. 

Analysis

  1. How long have you been studying at the university for, Ann? ‘Have been studying’ is the present perfect continuous in the active form. We use the present perfect continuous to talk about an action that started in the past and continues until the present moment.
  2. I’ve been studying for three years. ‘I’ve been studying’ is the present perfect continuous (active) being used to describe an action that started in the past and continues until the present moment.
  3. So, by next year will your studies have been finished then? ‘Will have been finished’ is the future perfect in the passive voice. The focus is on the action ‘studies being finished’.
  4. If I do a masters it’ll add another two years onto my studies. ‘If + infinitive + will + infinitive’ is the first conditional. In English, there are four conditionals (0,1,2,3), and the first conditional is used to describe a possible but unlikely future.
  5. Fair enough. A common expression that can show that someone ‘agrees’ with another person or shows indifference.

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