What Is the Future Perfect Tense? (with Examples)

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Future Perfect Tense

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 , you can click it!

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.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email 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