Future Perfect Tense

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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.

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the future perfect tense:

Infographic for the Future Perfect Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the future perfect tense:

future perfect tense

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?

Verb Tense Widget

Use this widget to learn about the different tenses. How do you use this widget? Well, if there's a button, a drop-down menu, or a , then you can click it!
to base form

( verb)

Select the tenses.

Present Tenses

Simple Present Tense The simple present tense is mostly used to describe facts and habits. More...(opens new tab) I base form you base form he/she/it 3rd pers sing present we base form you base form they base form Present Progressive Tense The present progressive tense is used for an ongoing action in the present. More...(opens new tab) I am present participle you are present participle he/she/it is present participle we are present participle you are present participle they are present participle Present Perfect Tense The present perfect tense is used for actions that began in the past. (Often, the actions continue into the present.) More...(opens new tab) I have past participle you have past participle he/she/it has past participle we have past participle you have past participle they have past participle Present Perfect Progressive Tense The present perfect progressive tense is used for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present, or a continuous activity that began in past but has now finished (usually very recently). More...(opens new tab) I have been present participle you have been present participle he/she/it has been present participle we have been present participle you have been present participle they have been present participle

Past Tenses

Simple Past The simple past tense is used to describe a completed activity that happened in the past. More...(opens new tab) I past tense you past tense he/she/it past tense we past tense you past tense they past tense Past Progressive Tense The past progressive tense is used to describe an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action. More...(opens new tab) I was present participle you were present participle he/she/it was present participle we were present participle you were present participle they were present participle Past Perfect Tense The past perfect tense is used to emphasize that an action was completed before another took place. More...(opens new tab) I had past participle you had past participle he/she/it had past participle we had past participle you had past participle they had past participle Past Perfect Progressive Tense The past perfect progressive tense is used to show that an ongoing action in the past has ended. More...(opens new tab) I had been present participle you had been present participle he/she/it had been present participle we had been present participle you had been present participle they had been present participle

Future Tenses

Simple Future The simple future tense is used for an action that will occur in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will base form you will base form he/she/it will base form we will base form you will base form they will base form Future Progressive Tense The future progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will occur in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will be present participle you will be present participle he/she/it will be present participle we will be present participle you will be present participle they will be present participle Future Perfect Tense The future perfect tense is used to describe an action that will have been completed at some point in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will have past participle you will have past participle he/she/it will have past participle we will have past participle you will have past participle they will have past participle Future Perfect Progressive Tense The future perfect progressive tense is used for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future. More...(opens new tab) I will have been present participle you will have been present participle he/she/it will have been present participle we will have been present participle you will have been present participle they will have been present participle

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

Slider Showing All the Tenses

The following slider shows all 12 tenses. The future perfect tense is highlighted with a yellow background.
Ready for the Test?
Here is a confirmatory test for this lesson.

This test can also be:
  • Edited (i.e., you can delete questions and play with the order of the questions).
  • Printed to create a handout.
  • Sent electronically to friends or students.

See Also

Tenses 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