Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used when speaking about an action that will be completed sometime between now and some point in the future. The formula for the future perfect tense is simple: will have + [past participle].

When to Use the Future Perfect Tense

Sometimes, you can use the future perfect tense and the simple future tense interchangeably. In these two sentences, there is no real difference in meaning because the word before makes the sequence of events clear:

Examples:

  • Joe will leave before you get there. (Future tense)
  • Joe will have left before you get there. (Future perfect tense)

But without prepositions such as before or by the time that make the sequence of events clear, you need to use the future perfect to show what happened first.

Examples:

  • At eight o’clock Joe will leave. (This means that Joe will wait until 8 o’clock to leave.)
  • At eight o’clock Joe will have left. (This means Joe will leave before 8 o’clock.)

When Not to Use the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is only for actions that will be complete before a specific point in the future. Thus, the action you’re talking about must have a deadline. If you don’t mention a deadline, use the simple future tense instead of the future perfect tense.

Examples:

  • Joe will leave.
  • Joe will have left.

The deadline can be very specific (eight o’clock) or it can be vague (next week). It can even depend on when something else happens (after the party ends). It just must be some time in the future.

How to make the Future Perfect Negative

Making a negative future perfect construction is easy! Just insert not between will and have.

Examples:

  • We will not have eaten breakfast before we get to the airport tomorrow morning.
  • They will not have finished decorating the float before the parade.

    You can also use the contraction won’t in the place of will not.

    • They won’t have finished decorating before the party.

    How to Ask a Question

    The formula for asking a question in the future perfect tense is

    will + [subject] + have + [past participle]:

    Examples:

    • Will you have eaten lunch already when we arrive?
    • Will they have finished decorating before the party?

    Prepositional Phrases that Often Go With the Future Perfect

    Examples:

    • By this time next week, Joe will have left for his trip.
    • Three days from now, we will have finished our project.
    • At midnight, the party will have ended.
    • Will you have eaten already?
    • Chester will not have arrived by the time the parade is over.
    • When I travel to France, I will have been to ten countries.
    • My sister will have cleaned the bathroom before the party.
    • As soon as someone buys this chair, I will have sold all the furniture I wanted to get rid of.

      Past Future Tense – Positive Sentences

       

      Structure:

      Who Form of verb
      I had + verb 3
      He/She/It had + verb 3
      You had + verb 3
      We had + verb 3
      They had + verb 3

      Past Future Tense – Negative Sentences

       

      Structure:

      Who Form of verb
      I
      had + not + verb 3
      or
      hadn’t + verb 3
      He/She/It
      had + not + verb 3
      or
      hadn’t + verb 3
      You
      had + not + verb 3
      or
      hadn’t + verb 3
      We
      had + not + verb 3
      or
      hadn’t + verb 3
      They
      had + not + verb 3
      or
      hadn’t + verb 3

      Negative Sentences Examples:

      • I had not visited London.
      • I hadn’t visited London.
      • He had not visited London.
      • He hadn’t visited London.
      • She had not visited London.
      • She hadn’t visited London.
      • It had not visited London.
      • It hadn’t visited London.
      • You had not visited London.
      • You hadn’t visited London.
      • We had not visited London.
      • We hadn’t visited London.
      • They had not visited London
      • They hadn’t visited London

      Past Future Tense – Question Sentences

       

      Structure:

      Who Form of verb
      Had I verb 3
      Had He/She/It
      Had You
      Had We
      Had They