Future perfect continuous

What is the future perfect continuous?

The future perfect continuous is one of the English verb tenses.

You can learn more English online by visiting our free English grammar lessons, which include other verb tenses and more grammar points.

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Use & examples

The future perfect continuous tense connects links one future event to a later event in the future and we use it to describe

future perfect continuous

(1) In the future before another time in the future

[English level B2]

It describes temporary actions or situations that will be happening over a period of time before another time in the future. It is commonly used with the present simple.

  • I'll have been studying (1) for two hours when you get home (2).
  • At Christmas (2), they'll have been living (1) together for two years.

The future perfect continuous focuses more on the duration of the action itself.

The future perfect simple focuses more on the completion or the result than the action itself.

Future perfect continuous 1 - Timeline

Form

How do you write and pronounce the future perfect continuous?

Form: Key points

  • Use the auxiliary verbs will + have + been + main verb (-ing).

Here are examples of the affirmative (positive) form, negative form and question form using the verb 'live'.

Future perfect continuous - Affirmative

Contractions

It is common to contract subject pronouns with auxiliary verb + 'will'

  • I'll have been -ing
  • He'll/She'll/It'll have been -ing
Future perfect continuous - Negative

Contractions

For negative sentences, it is more common to contract 'will' + 'not' to 'won't'.

  • I won't have been -ing
  • He/She/It won't have been -ing
Future perfect continuous - Question

Short answers

  • Yes, I will. / No, I won't.
  • Yes, you will. / No, you won't.

Pronunciation

For 'will have been', we use a weak vowel sound in 'have'.

/wɪlhəvbɪn/

We commonly use contractions (e.g. 'In January, I'll have been going to the gym for 5 years.' or 'He won't have been working...') for the future perfect continuous tense, especially when speaking English.

Notes

For the future perfect continuous, we have extra information about:

  • spelling exceptions for verbs and
  • time expressions that you can use.

Spelling exceptions for verbs

Sometimes we need to remove a letter, and other times we need to add another letter. Here are the exceptions:

1) One 'e' at the end of a verb
Remove the final 'e' and add 'ing'.

Examples:
[drive] He'll have been driving for at least 6 hours when he arrives.

* Verbs ending in 'ee'
These follow the normal rules.

Examples:
[see] At Christmas, she'll have been seeing (in a relationship with) her boyfriend for 5 years.


2) Verb ends with consonant + one stressed vowel + one consonant
Double the final consonant and add 'ing'.

Examples:
[stop] They'll have been running for more than 4 hours when they finish the marathon.


3) Verb ends in 'l' (British English)
Double the final consonant and add 'ing'.

Examples:
[travel] I'll have been travelling in Asia for 18 months.


Time expressions used with future perfect continuous

Time markers can be used with the future perfect continuous and connect (or relate to) two different times in the future.

1) for
This connects a period of time in the future to a later time in the future.

Examples:
I'll have been working at this company for thirty years (when I retire).


2) since
This is used when something started happening at a specific time.

Examples:
When I leave work today, I'll have been answering emails since 8 o'clock this morning.

Quizzes

Quiz 1: Things happening over a period of time in the future

Jason and Becky are friends discussing their work and future lifestyle.

[Topic: Work & lifestyles]

Type the verbs in the future perfect continuous tense and use the affirmative, negative or question form.

Good luck and please share!