Future Perfect

Future Perfect tense: I will have worked

The Future Perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The Future Perfect talks about the past in the future.

How do we make the Future Perfect tense?

The structure of the Future Perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb
invariable invariable past participle
will have V3

Look at these example sentences in the Future Perfect tense:

  subject auxiliary verb   auxiliary verb main verb  
+ I will   have finished by 10am.
+ You will   have forgotten me by then.
- She will not have gone to school.
- We will not have left.  
? Will you   have arrived?  
? Will they   have received it?

Contraction with Future Perfect

In speaking with the Future Perfect tense, we often contract the subject and will. Sometimes, we may contract the subjectwill and have all together:

I will have I'll have I'll've
you will have you'll have you'll've
he will have
she will have
it will have
he'll have
she'll have
it'll have
we will have we'll have we'll've
they will have they'll have they'll've
  • I'll have finished when you arrive.
  • She'll have forgotten everything.
  • They'll've had their dinner by then.

In negative sentences, we may contract with won't or won't've, like this:

  • Anthony won't have arrived by then.
  • They won't've finished the car tomorrow.
We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

How do we use the Future Perfect tense?

The Future Perfect tense expresses action in the future before another action in the future. This is the past in the future. For example:

  • The train will leave the station at 9am. You will arrive at the station at 9.15am. When you arrive, the train will have left.
The train will have left when you arrive.
past present future
    Train leaves in future at 9am.
  9   9:15
    You arrive in future at 9.15am.

Look at some more examples:

  • You can call me at work at 8am. I will have arrived at the office by 8.
  • They will be tired when they arrive. They will not have slept for a long time.
  • "Mary won't be at home when you arrive." / "Really? Where will she have gone?"

You can sometimes think of the Future Perfect tense like the Present Perfect tense, but instead of your viewpoint being in the present, it is in the future:

past present future
Josef Essberger, founder EnglishClub.com Contributor: Josef Essberger, founder of EnglishClub.com. Originally from London, England, Josef is the author of several books for learners of English including English Prepositions List and Learn English in 7.

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