Future Perfect Tense (with Examples)

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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. It is often used with a time expression which identifies that point in the future.

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.)
Of course, you can also have the negative version, which is formed "will not have" + "[past particple]":
  • By the time you arrive, we will not have finished the meal and the speeches.
  • I will not have read every magazine in the waiting room before I see the dentist.
And, the question versions:
  • Will you have finished the meal and the speeches by the time I arrive?
  • Will you have read every magazine in the waiting room before you see the dentist?

Forming the Future Perfect Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the future perfect tense:



Other Future Tenses

The future perfect tense is one of four future tenses. They are:

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

Forming the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is formed:

will have + [the past participle]

For example:
  • 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.

Click here for a list of the most common irregular verbs.
 
 


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