"Future Perfect" Tense in English Grammar

Future Perfect

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

What Is Future Perfect Tense?

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 All subjects
Auxiliary Verb will
Auxiliary Verb have
Past Participle of Main Verb walked

When we use the present perfect tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb 'will.' Check out these examples:

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 auxiliary verb 'have.' Look at the examples:

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 invert 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.For example:

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

Tip!

If you want to learn more about spelling rules of adding -ed to the base form of verbs, see here.

Future Perfect: Uses

Using Future Perfect to Talk about Completed Actions before Another Events

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 tense' to talk about an action that will finish before a certain time in the future, but we do not know exactly when. So, there is not a specific time for the particular action to finish. Check out the examples:

By midnight, I will have finished my report.

It means the speaker will finish his report some time before midnight, but we do not know when exactly .

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 do not know when exactly.

An Action That Starts before and Continues in the Future

We use the 'future perfect tense' to say 'how long' it takes for an action that starts before and continues up to another action or time in the future. Here are the examples:

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.

Completed Actions before Another Events

We use the 'future perfect tense' to talk about an action that will be finished before another event takes place. We mean you can consider an event as the deadline for future action to take place. For example:

We will have cooked the dinner before they arrive.

Sam will have finished his class before we leave for the party.

Review

Future perfect tense, as its name requires; talks about an action in the future that is formed in the perfect tense, so if you are familiar with the perfect structure of English grammar it is easy for you to make a sentence in the 'future perfect tense.'

Structure, Contraction, Affirmative, Negative, and Question Forms

structure subject + will + have + past participle
affirmative I will have had lunch by 5:00.
negative I will not have had lunch by 5:00.
contraction I'll not have had lunch by 5:00./ I won't have had lunch by 5:00.
yes/no question Will you have had lunch by 5:00?
-wh question When will you have had lunch?

When to Use Future Perfect Tense

  1. To talk about an action that will finish before a certain time in the future
  2. To talk about an action that starts before and continues in the future

Comments

You might also like

Present Perfect Continuous

The present perfect continuous tense is a useful tense in English grammar. Why? Because it connects the present and the past. Let's see how.

Past Perfect

This tense is an advance tense and we use it to talk about the past in a lot of interesting ways, and you’ll see what they are. So are you ready? Let’s start.

Past Perfect Continuous

This tense is an advanced tense, but it’s not hard to learn. This tense will allow you to talk about things that happened in the past in a more interesting way.

Future Perfect Continuous

This is one of the most advanced tenses in the English language. So, congratulation for reaching this level. Let's start to learn this tense.

Future with 'Going to'

Anything after now is the future, and in English, we have many ways and tenses to talk about the future. Some are more basic and some are more advanced.

Past with 'Going to'

There are times that we are narrating a story and we want to talk about past plans that did not happen. In this case, we use past with going to.