Future Perfect

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

Future Perfect Quiz

You can do this grammar quiz. It tests what you learned on the Future Perfect page.

1. I ________ by then.

 will be leave
 will have left
 will leaving

2. Will you ________ by 8am?

 have arrived
 be arrive
 have arriving

3. You ________ the bill by the time the item arrives.

 ‘ll have received
 will receiving
 ‘ve received

4. Melissa and Mike will be exhausted. They ________ slept for 24 hours.

 will not
 will not have
 will not be

5. He will have ________ all about it by Monday.

 be forgetting

6. Will you ________ the contracts by Thursday?

 have mailed
 to have mailed

7. The boss ________ by the time the orders come in.

 will leave
 will be left
 will have left

8. Where ________ gone?

 will she have
 is she has
 she have

9. September works for us. Lisa will not ________ by then.

 have graduated
 be graduate

10. I will let you in. I ________ with the keys by the time you come in.

 will have arrived
 will be arrival
 will be arrived


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