What is the future perfect simple?
The future perfect simple is one of the English verb tenses.
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Use & examples
The future perfect simple tense refers to 'the past in the future' and we use it to describe:
How do you write and pronounce the future perfect simple?
Form: Key points
- Use the auxiliary verb 'will' + have + main verb (Past participle).
- To form the past participle of main verbs, add 'ed' to the base form of the verb, which is the infinitive without 'to'.
Here are examples of the affirmative (positive) form, negative form and question form using the verb 'live'.
It is also possible to contract subject pronouns with auxiliary verb + 'not'
- I'll not have
- He'll/She'll/It'll not have
- Yes, I will. / No, I won't.
- Yes, you will. / No, you won't.
We commonly use contractions (e.g. 'I'll have met friends' or 'He won't have worked') for the future perfect simple tense, especially when speaking English.
The future perfect simple with 'ed' has three different pronunciation sounds.
- /t/ (e.g. worked, helped) - when 'ed' comes after an unvoiced consonant sound.
- /d/ (e.g. stayed, lived) - when 'ed' comes after a voiced consonant or a vowel sound.
- /ɪd/ (e.g. started, decided) - when 'ed' comes after the sounds /t/ and /d/.
For the future perfect simple, we have extra information about:
- spelling exceptions for verbs and
- time expressions that you can use.
Spelling exceptions for verbs
The past participle for regular verbs is the same as the past tense form and ends with 'ed'.
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
Add 'd' at the end of the base form.
[live] I will have lived in Germany for two years.
[save] I won't have saved money for a new car.
2) Verb ends with consonant + one stressed vowel + one consonant
Double the final consonant before -ed'.
[stop] I 'll have stopped smoking.
* Verbs ending with an unstressed vowel
These follow the normal rules, and the last consonant is not doubled.
[develop] They'll have developed a new idea at the company.
3) Verb ends in 'l' (British English)
Double the final consonant before -ed'.
[travel] I'll have travelled the world with friends.
4) Verb ends with 'ic'
Add 'k' before -ed'.
[panic] He'll have panicked about the exam.
5) Irregular verbs
There are many irregular verbs which don't follow the rules and you just need to remember them!
[see] He'll have seen the film.
Time expressions used with future perfect simple
Time markers can be used with the future perfect simple and connect (or relate to) two different times in the future.
This connects a period of time in the future to a later time in the future.
I'll have worked at this company for six years (at Christmas).
2) by / by the time / when
This is used when something happened before (not later than) a specific time in the future.
By 4 o'clock, he'll have finished all his emails.
By the time he leaves today, he'll have finished all his emails.
I'll have already worked at this company for two years, when I get married.
This shows that something will finish earlier than another event in the future.
She'll have already gone home (when we arrive at the party).
This can be used to emphasis the sequence of events in the future.
The film will have finished before we have dinner.
Quiz 1: Things that expected to be completed before another time in the future
A new government has been elected and a reporter discusses future targets with a key politician.
[Topic: Global issues]
Type the verbs in the future perfect simple tense and use the affirmative, negative or question form.
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- Reporter: (Will) you (have introduced)[introduce] new climate change targets by the end of your first year in office?
Politician: We (will have submitted, 'll have submitted)[submit] our proposal to parliament for the final decision.
- Reporter: So, you (will not have completed, won't have completed, 'll not have completed)[complete] one of the key points in your election manifesto.
Politician: We did not promise to complete this by the end of the first year. However, I'm confident that we ('ll have achieved, will have achieved)[achieve] our climate change goals by the end of the second year.
- Reporter: And (will) you (have) already (discussed)[discuss] the global poverty issues with other developed countries before Christmas?
Politician: We will have exchanged reports by the end of the year, but we (won't have finalised, will not have finalised, 'll not have finalised) [finalise] targets before the next international summit.
- Reporter: Then, you (won't have reached, will not have reached, 'll not have reached)[reach] an agreement before next summer.
Politician: Next autumn is a realistic timescale. And we (will have, 'll have) already (prepared)[prepare] for different questions and potential disagreements before then.
- Reporter: (Will) you (have finished)[finish] any of the election promises by the end of this year?
Politician: We (will have introduced, 'll have introduced)[introduce] our new environmental regulations on domestic and international companies.