Learn the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense describes a future action that will happen before another action. Let's learn how to form  this tense. 

This tense is formed using "will have" plus the past participle of the main verb. We'll learn how to make positive and negative forms, short forms (contractions) and questions.  

[Note: Click here to learn how to use  the future perfect.]

Future perfect affirmative statements

To form the future perfect:  we use "will have" + the past participle.

Note: It's not as common but you can also use contractions:  I will = I'll;  you will = you'll;  he will = he'll;  she will = she'll   we will = we'll;  they will = they'll

To form the past participle:  add "ed" to the infinitive form of regular  verbs. We use the same form for each subject (e.g., I, you, he).

  • will have started the school by this time next year. (start — started)
  • I'll have graduated college in two years. (graduate — graduated)
  • She will have worked in every department before she becomes manager. (work — worked)
  • She'll have worked here for 20 years next June.
  • If it continues, tomorrow it will have rained for twelve days in a row. (rain — rained).
  • I'm sure the store will have opened by now. (open — opened)
  • We'll have already talked by tomorrow. (talk — talked)

Spelling changes with past participles

Sometimes there are spelling changes when forming the past participle:

1.  If the verb ends with "y", we change it to -i and add -ed (but only if there's a consonant before the -y):

  • She will have tried every dish on the buffet. (try — tried)
  • We'll have studied all of the English tenses by next month. (study — studied)
  • My baby sister will have cried herself to sleep in the next 15 minutes.   (cry — cried)
  • My assistant will have copied the materials in time for the meeting.  (copy — copied)

2.  If the verb ends with "e" , we add just a "d" (not "ed"): 

  • The bank will have already closed by 5 PM. (close — closed, NOT:  closeed)
  • She will have fired the receptionist by the end of the week. (fire — fired)

3. Double the final consonant after a short stressed vowel if the verb ends in a CVC (consonant vowel consonant)*:

  • I will have stopped working a month before the baby is born.  (stop — stopped:  double the "p" then add "ed")
  • My father will have planned a surprise for my mother's upcoming birthday.  (plan — planned)

(*except CVC endings with w, x, or y)


Irregular past participle forms

Many verbs have irregular past participles.

Examples:

  • We will have eaten all the pizza. (NOT: we have "eated")
  • I will have done my chores before my mother gets home. (NOT: "doded")
  • At this pace, he'll have run 20 KM by 2:30 PM. (NOT:  "runned")

Unfortunately, you have to memorize them. Here are many of the irregular forms:

be  —  been

become  — become

begin — begun

break — broken

bring  — brought

buy  — bought

catch  — caught

choose  — chosen

come  — come

cost  — cost

cut  — cut

do  — done

draw  — drawn

drink  — drunk

drive  — driven

eat  — eaten

fall  — fallen

feel  — felt

fight  — fought

find  — found

fly  — flown

forget  — forgotten

get  — gotten

give  — given

go  — gone

grow  — grown

hang  — hung

have  — had

hear  — heard

hide  — hidden

hit  — hit

hold  — held

hurt  — hurt

keep  — kept

know  — known

leave  — left

lend  — lent

let  — let

light  — lit

lose  — lost

make  — made

mean  — meant

meet  — met

pay  — paid

put  — put

read  — read

ride  — ridden

ring  — rung

rise  — risen

run  — run

say  — said

see  — seen

sell  — sold

send  — sent

shine  — shone

shoot  — shot

shut  — shut

sing  — sung

sit  — sat

sleep  — slept

speak  — spoken

spend  — spent

stand  — stood

steal  — stolen

swim  — swum

take  — taken

teach — taught

tear  — torn

tell  — told

think  — thought

throw  — thrown

wake  — woken

wear  — worn

win  — won

write  — written

Future perfect negative statements

To form the negative, simply add "not" after "will":

  • subject + will +  not  + have + past participle

We can also use the contractions: (e.g., I won't have finished the report by the deadline).

Examples:

  • Don't worry. They won't have arrived at my house before I get there.
  • They will not have found the cure for cancer by the end of this century.
  • I will not have started cleaning the house until tomorrow.
  • It's only 3 AM in Bangkok. My mother will not have heard from her sister yet.
  • Ten years from now, my son still will not have gotten married.
  • By the time my parents read the note, I will have already boarded the plane.

Yes / no questions

To form questions use:

  • Will + subject  + have + past participle

Examples:

  • Will you have you learned some Chinese before you move to China?
  • Will we have finished the course material before the exam?
  • Will they have they gone to bed already?
  • Will my son have recovered from the flu by next week?
  • Will you have saved enough to buy a car by the summer?

Wh- Questions Present Perfect

Notice the word order. The wh- question word comes before "will" and then the subject + havepast participle.

Examples:

  • How long will you have you studied English?
  • Where will you have traveled by the end of your trip?
  • How much will he have spent on his education when he graduates?
  • What type of people will have succeeded in the new economy?
  • What will the girl have brought this time?
  • How much of your salary will you have saved by next year?


Whew!  We covered a lot of information on this page. Check back for exercises that will help you practice the future perfect in its different forms.

Click here to learn when to USE the future perfect.

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