Future perfect simple

(Explanation and rules of the future perfect tense in English)

Table of contents – future perfect simple

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Use of the future perfect simple
  2. Formation of the future perfect simple
  3. Further explanations and exercises

When is the future perfect simple used?

The future perfect simple is an English verb tense and expresses actions or processes that will be finished at a certain time in the future. Compare the following possible uses:

  • Use of the future perfect simple for actions that take place in the future but will be completed at a certain point in time:
    • “By the end of the week, I will have done all the work.”
      • action = do the work
      • point in time = the end of the week
    • “When you finish the training, you will have learned all the things you need to know.”
      • action = learn things
      • point in time = finish the training
        • Watch it: In this type of sentence (time clause) with ‘when’, the simple present normally needs to be used.

How is the future perfect simple formed?

For the formation of the future perfect simple, the modal auxiliary verb ‘will’, the infinitive (base form) of ‘to have’, and the past participle of the respective verb are needed. The past participle of regular verbs is formed by attaching the suffix ‘-ed’; irregular verbs have unique forms, which are listed in the third column of the table of irregular verbs. The conjugation of the future perfect simple follows the rule below. It needs to be considered that ‘will have’ remains unchanged in every person (first, second, third), which means that nos’ is appended:

Rule for the formation of the future perfect simple

Auxiliary verbs ‘will’ + ‘have’ + past participle of the corresponding verb

Further example sentences

  • “Mike will have finished his studies by the end of the year.”
  • “In 10 years’ time, we will have travelled all five continents.”

Further explanations relating to the ‘Future perfect simple’

The following explanations relate to the topic ‘Using the future perfect simple tense in English’ and could also be helpful: