Future Perfect Tense in English Grammar

Future Perfect Tense in English Grammar

The future perfect tense is an advanced tense; it will allow you to speak about the future in a really interesting way that may not exist in your own language.

Future Perfect Tense in English Grammar

Future Perfect

The future perfect tense talks about the past in the future. It is for talking about an action that will be completed between now and some point in the future.

Future Perfect: Structure

The future perfect is composed of the auxiliary verb 'will', plus the auxiliary verb 'have' and the past participle of the main verb. The past participle is regularly formed with an -ed suffix (e.g. looked, ended, tutored) but has many irregular forms (e.g. broken, made, understood).

Subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb past participle of main verb
All subjects will have walked

When we use the present perfect tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb 'will'.

She will have finished her homework by six o'clock . → She'll have finished her homework by six o'clock .

We will have been in this house for a year on February 2nd . → We'll have been in this house for a year on February 2nd .

Future Perfect: Negation

For negative sentences you put 'not' between the auxiliary verb 'will and the the auxiliary verb 'have'.

She will have gone to college . → She will not have gone to college .

They will have arrived . → They will not have arrived .

In negative sentences, we can contract the auxiliary verb 'will' and 'not'. See the examples:

They will not have had their lunch by then . → They won't have had their lunch by then .

They will not have arrived . → They won't have arrived .

Future Perfect: Questions

For yes/no question sentences, we exchange the subject and 'will'. Look at these example sentences with the future perfect tense:

They will have arrived . → Will they have arrived ?

You will have sent it . → Will you have sent it ?

For wh- question sentences, do the exact thing you do for yes/no questions and add the proper wh- question word at the beginning of the sentence and omit the part that is the answer.

They will have sent the letter . → What will they have sent ?

Past Participle: Spelling Rules

The past participle of verbs is usually formed by adding -ed or -d to the verb’s root. But keep in mind that English have quite a few verbs that have irregular past participles (e.g., done, said, gone, known, won, thought, felt, eaten). Here are the spelling rules for the formation of the past participle of regular verbs:

  • If the verb ends in a vowel + 'y' add 'ed'.

play → played

employ → employed

  • If the verb ends in a consonant + 'y', 'y' it changes to '-i' before 'ed'.

study → studied

hurry → hurried

  • If the verb ends in a vowel 'e' add 'd' after it.

live → lived

dance → danced

  • If a monosyllabic verb ends in consonant + vowel + consonant, double the final consonant before 'ed'.

stop → stopped

plan → planned

  • If the verb has more than one syllable, double the final consonant before 'ed' only if the final syllable is stressed.

permit → permitted

prefer → preferred

  • If the final syllable of the verb is not stressed, do not double the final consonant before 'ed'.

listen → listened

develop → developed

Future Perfect: Uses

When someone uses the present perfect tense, they are talking about:

an action that will finish before a certain time in the future

  • We use the future perfect to talk about an action that will finish before a certain time in the future, but we don't know exactly when.

By midnight , I will have finished my report .

It means the speaker will finish his report some time before midnight, but we don't know exactly when.

You can call me at my office at 10 : 00 . I will have arrived at the office by 10 : 00 .

It means the speaker will arrive at the office before 10, but we don't know exactly when.

an action that starts before and continues in the future

  • We use the future perfect to say 'how long' for an action that starts before and continues up to another action or time in the future.

When they get married , she'll have known her husband for two years .

At 6 : 00 , I'll have been in the office for a whole day .

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