Rob Lane

By Rob Lane


In the last post, we looked at Future Continuous. Another tense that we see frequently with this is Future Perfect. In the previous article, I gave an example of this.

A. Can we meet at 2 pm tomorrow?

B. Unfortunately, I’ll be having lunch with a client at 2. But, we’ll have finished by 2.30 so I can come to your office then.

Although both Future Continuous and Future Perfect have limited application, you should be familiar with them. Typically, you will focus on these tenses at an upper-intermediate level and they are in all textbooks.


What is the structure?

Subject + will + have + past participle + by/ before + time

We will have finished our meeting by 2.30

Note – It is very uncommon to use Future Perfect Continuous and I do not recommend that you do.


What is the function?

To say that an action will be completed at some point before a future reference point.


In Practice?

Typically we use Future Perfect when we are making predictions about the future.

By 2100, the vast majority of people will have moved to cities.

By 2150, global temperatures will have risen by an average of six degrees Celsius.


Also, it is often not possible to say exactly when we will finish a task. We can use Future Perfect to be less specific. Compare the following:

Manager: When will the report be ready?

Employee: I am not sure exactly when I will finish it but certainly, I will have finished it by five o’clock on Friday.


Time expressions?

With Future Perfect we usually use:

by/ before + day/ date / time, etc

by/ before + noun

by/ before + Present Simple

*See examples below.



We will have completed phases one and two of the project by the 2nd September.

I will certainly have finished the report before the deadline.

Before the guests have arrived, we will have prepared everything.


You should

Look online for some articles about the future of technology and climate change and look for examples of both Future Perfect and Future Continuous.

Write a dialogue between two people discussing their predictions for the future and have your teacher check it.