Present Perfect Tense

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Future Perfect Tense? (with Examples)

The future perfect tense is used to describe an action that will have been completed at some point in the future. For example:
  • John will have baked a cake.
  • They will have painted the fence.
The future perfect tense is often used with a time expression (shown in bold) that identifies a point in the future. For example:
  • John will have baked a cake before you arrive.
  • They will have painted the fence before I have a chance to speak to them.

Examples of the Future Perfect Tense

Here are some examples of the future perfect tense (shaded):
  • By the time you arrive, we will have finished the meal and the speeches.
  • (Note: "By the time you arrive" identifies the point in the future.)
  • I will have read every magazine in the waiting room before I see the dentist.
  • (Note: The clause "before I see the dentist" identifies the point in the future.)
  • I hope that, when I leave this planet, I will have touched a few people in a positive way. (Actor Will Rothhaar)
  • (Note: The clause "when I leave this planet" identifies the point in the future.)

Forming the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is formed:
[subject]
+
"will have"
+
[past participle]
  • I will have completed my assignment by 3 o'clock.
  • After this event, Simon will have walked over 10,000 miles in those boots.

Forming the Past Participle (Regular Verbs)

If it's a regular verb, the past participle is the same as the simple past tense. In other words, it is formed like this:

Add "ed" to most verbs:
  • jump > jumped
  • paint > painted
If a verb of one syllable ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the final consonant and add "ed":
  • chat > chatted
  • stop > stopped
If the final consonant is "w," "x," or "y," don't double it:
  • sew > sewed
  • play > played
  • fix > fixed
If last syllable of a longer verb is stressed and ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the last consonant and add "ed":
  • incur > incurred
  • prefer > preferred
If the first syllable of a longer verb is stressed and the verb ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], just add "ed":
  • open > opened
  • enter > entered
  • swallow > swallowed
If the verb ends "e," just add "d":
  • thrive > thrived
  • guzzle > guzzled
If the verb ends [consonant + "y"], change the "y" to an "i" and add "ed":
  • cry > cried
  • fry > fried

Forming the Past Participle (Irregular Verbs)

If it's an irregular verb, the "past participle" is formed in all sorts of different ways. Here are some examples:
  • arise > arisen
  • catch > caught
  • choose > chosen
  • know > known
You just have to learn them. Read more about irregular verbs (includes a list of the most common irregular verbs).

The Negative Version

If you need the negative version, you can use the following construction:
[subject]
+
"will not have"
+
[past participle]
  • By the time you arrive, we will not have finished the meal and the speeches.
  • I will not have readevery magazine in the waiting room before I see the dentist.
Remember that "will not" is sometimes written as the contraction "won't."

The Question Version

If you need to ask a question, you can use the following word order for a yes/no question:
"will"
+
[subject]
+
"have"
+
[past participle]
  • By the time you arrive, will we have finished the meal and the speeches?
  • Will I have read every magazine in the waiting room before I see the dentist?
You can use the following word order for a question-word question:
[question word]
+
"will"
+
[subject]
+
"have"
+
[past participle]
  • Where will the guests have gathered by the time we arrive?
  • When will I have done enough work to make her happy?

Infographic for the Future Perfect Tense

future perfect tense
The tables below show all 12 tenses so you can see the future perfect tense among the other tenses. (You can change the verb by clicking one of the green buttons.)

Top 10 Regular Verbs

Top 10 Irregular Verbs

All 4 Past Tenses

PersonSimple PastPast Progressive TensePast Perfect TensePast Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
  • past tense
The simple past tense is for a completed activity that happened in the past.
  • was present participle
  • were present participle
  • was present participle
  • were present participle
  • were present participle
  • were present participle
The past progressive tense is for an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
  • had past participle
The past perfect tense is for emphasizing that an action was completed before another took place.
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
  • had been present participle
The past perfect progressive tense is for showing that an ongoing action in the past has ended.

All 4 Present Tenses

PersonSimple PresentPresent Progressive TensePresent Perfect TensePresent Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • base form
  • base form
  • 3rd pers sing present
  • base form
  • base form
  • base form
The simple present tense is mostly for a fact or a habit.
  • am present participle
  • are present participle
  • is present participle
  • are present participle
  • are present participle
  • are present participle
The present progressive tense is for an ongoing action in the present.
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
  • has past participle
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
  • have past participle
The present perfect tense is for an action that began in the past. (Often, the action continues into the present.)
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • has been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
  • have been present participle
The present perfect progressive tense is for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present (or finished very recently).

All 4 Future Tenses

PersonSimple FutureFuture Progressive TenseFuture Perfect TenseFuture Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
  • will base form
The simple future tense is for an action that will occur in the future.
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
  • will be present participle
The future progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
  • will have past participle
The future perfect tense is for an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
  • will have been present participle
The future perfect progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.

Other Future Tenses

The future perfect tense is one of four future tenses. This table shows all four of the future tenses:
The 4 Future Tenses Example
simple future tense I will go
future progressive tense I will be going
future perfect tense I will have gone
future perfect progressive I will have been going

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See Also

See all the tenses What is a verb phrase? Simple past tense Past progressive tense Past perfect tense Past perfect progressive tense Simple present tense Present progressive tense Present perfect tense Present perfect progressive tense Simple future tense Future progressive tense Future perfect progressive tense

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