Future Continuous vs. Future Perfect Continuous

There are similarities and differences between future continuous and future perfect continuous, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

What is Their Main Difference?

The difference between future continuous and future perfect continuous is that we use future continuous to predict the future while we use future perfect continuous to talk about an ongoing action that will finish before another.

1. Unfinished Actions

We can use future continuous to discuss unfinished actions that tend to continue happening in the future. The same goes for future perfect continuous that we use to talk about an ongoing action that will continue until a certain point in the future. It tends to show the length of time that an action is happening.

I will be hiking at 9 in the morning.

I will have been hiking for four hours by 9 in the morning.

2. Predictions

We tend to guess and predict the future, and usually, we are uncertain about the outcome or the occurrence of the event. In this case, we use future continuous to predict.

He will be throwing a party like last year.

Here, we are talking about a prediction about a future event.

He will have been throwing a party like last year.

Here, we are not making any predictions for the future.

3. Finished Actions

Let us say that we want to talk about an action that will finish just before another action. We use future perfect continuous to do just that. Have a look:

When you come over, I will have been cooking.

Here, we are showing two actions that will be happening in order.

When you come over, I will be cooking.

Here we are talking more about future plans rather than naming actions.

4. Fixed Arrangements

Imagine that you want to remind your friends of an arrangement that you have been planning for months. You want to make sure they will remember to attend your little event. Here, you will use future continuous tense to review or remind an event.

We will be leaving for the party at 6.

Here, we are reminding others of an event that will occur at a certain time.

We will have been leaving for the party at 6.

Here, we are not reminding others of an arrangement.

5. Cause and Effect

When an action is done, there is always a consequence. When we want to refer to the set of events that continuously happens before a future event, we use future perfect continuous.

They will lose their voice because they will have been talking non-stop.

Here, we are referring to the cause of something that has happened.

They will lose their voice because they will be talking non-stop.

Here, we are naming to events rather than showing what is the cause of what.

6. Polite Enquiries

When you want to acquire information, you ask questions. When you want to be more polite while trying to ask a question, you will use future continuous tense.

Will he be attending the event?

Here, we are politely asking for information about a certain situation.

Will he have been attending the event?

This example is not as polite as the first example.

Structure

Now that we have discussed the uses of the two tenses and compared them, let us discuss their structure individually.

1.1. Future Continuous Tense

The creation of future continuous tense is very simple if you learn its pattern by heart. Start by adding 'will' to the verb 'be' followed by the present participle of the main verb.

Subject Will Be -ing Form
I will be calling
He will be running

2.2. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

When creating future perfect continuous, we use 'will,' followed by 'have' and the past participle of the verb 'be' and the present participle of the main verb. Take a look at the following table:

Subject auxiliary will auxiliary have past participle of be present participle of main verb
All subjects will have been verb+ing

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