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Future perfect continuous

Future perfect continuous construction: will/shall + have + been + verb + –ing

Example verb: paint

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

The future perfect continuous is used to talk about an action that will continue to happen up until a specified time in the future

The action that occurs must stop before another action in the future using a reference to time

  • will have been living in London for two years by next December
  • She will have been studying Spanish for an entire year when her new former teacher comes back. 
  • They will have been working for the company for nearly ten years when the layoff occurs. 
  • Those students shall have been chatting for the entire lesson by the time they finish. 

We use the future perfect continuous to demonstrate the cause and effect of an action before another related action in the future further ahead 

  • George will be exhausted when he gets home because he will have been working all day.
  • Isabel’s English will have improved so much when she returns from England because she will have been living there for three years.
  • The car will be all dusty when we get it as it will have been sitting in the garage for six months.

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

The future perfect continuous can also be substituted with the ‘be’ + ‘going’ + ‘to’ + ‘have’ + verb + –ing‘ form

The form: ‘Am/is/are’ + ‘going’ + ‘to’ + ‘have’ + verb + –ing is completely interchangeable with the standard form.

  • She is going to have been working on that project for over five hours by the time we get back.
  • They are going to have been playing football all day by the time they finish.
  • Henry will be furious when he gets back because his children will have been arguing amongst themselves.

English Verbs – The Complete Guide

Lesson #28: Future perfect continuous

Explanation

Construction: will + have + been + gerund (verb + -ing)

Example verb: party

I will have been partying   We will have been partying
You will have been partying You (guys) will have been partying
He/she/it will have been partying     They will have been partying
  • The future perfect continuous is used to talk about an action that will continue to happen up until a specified time in the future. The action that occurs generally stops before another action in the future using a reference to time.  
  • We use the future perfect continuous to demonstrate the cause and effect of an action before another related action in the future further ahead. 
  • The future perfect continuous can also be substituted with the ‘be + going + to + have + been + gerund’, which is completely interchangeable with the standard form. 

Context

  • How long have you been living in New Zealand for, James?1
  • Well, you know, I moved here from the United States more than five years ago,2 and by the end of this year I will have been living in New Zealand for six years.3
  • That’s a long time. Do you miss the States?4
  • To be honest, I don’t miss the States because here, the nature is remarkable, and the people tend to be very laid back.5
  • Are you going to want to return to the US one day once you’ll have been living here enough time to get your residency?6
  • I think that once I get my New Zealand residency, I’ll go back to the US just for a visit,7 but I plan on living here, especially now, because my children have just started school here in New Zealand.8
  • That sounds like a smart thing to do. And how long have your children been at school for?9
  • Both started this year, so they’ll have been living here for five years by the time they finish their first semester at school.10

Analysis

  1. How long have you been living in New Zealand for, James? The present perfect continuous (have you been living) is being used because the experience of living in New Zealand still continues until the very present moment.
  2. I moved here from the United States more than five years ago. The past simple (I moved) is used because the action of ‘moving’ started in the past and finished in the past. Even though the action of ‘moving’ has present day results we use the past simple, and not the present perfect because the action itself had completed.
  3.  By the end of this year I will have been living in New Zealand for six years. Here, we’re using the future perfect continuous (will have been living) because we’re talking about an action that will continue to happen up until a specified time in the future.
  4. Do you miss the States? The present simple is used (Do you miss) because the experience of ‘missing’ is a state. I.e. She loves travelling. I miss my family. These are both states and need to be in the present simple.
  5. The people tend to be very laid back. Remember, we use adjectives with the verb ‘to be’. The adjective here being ‘laid back’ which means ‘relaxed’.
  6. Are you going to want to return to the US one day once you’ll have been living here enough time to get your residency? The future perfect continuous (you’ll have been living) is used because we’re talking about an action that will continue to happen up until a specified time in the future.
  7. I’ll go back to the US just for a visit. The future simple (I’ll go) is used because a prediction is being made. We use ‘will’ to make promises, predictions, and talk about the future.
  8. Because my children have just started school here in New Zealand. The present perfect (have just started) is being used to describe and experience that happened in the past and has present day results.
  9. And how long have your children been at school for? Again, the present perfect (have your children been) is used because the action started in the past and has present day results.
  10. So, they’ll have been living here for five years by the time they finish their first semester at school. Here, the future perfect continuous (they’ll have been living) is used to describe an action that will continue to happen up until a specified time in the future. That specified time being ‘they finish their first semester at school’.

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