by Jacqueline Schaalje
Warning: this is not for beginning students of English.
Let’s take a difficult tense. It may be the first time you see it.
It’s a combination of the future with “will” and the present perfect with “have + V3.” V3 means the third form of the verb.
Have a look at this example:
Stella will have finished her project tomorrow afternoon.
This sentence presents the idea that Stella will do this project before the afternoon ends.
Here’s an illustration of similar examples:
As you can see, the future perfect is used when there is some end time in the future, and the action happens before this end time. In the illustration, this end time is the deadline, in 2015.
If you don’t have an end time in mind, you can use the simple future:
Stella will finish her project tomorrow afternoon.
In short, what’s the difference between the following two examples?
1 Stella will have finished her project tomorrow afternoon.
2 Stella will finish her project tomorrow afternoon.
In 1, there is an end time (tomorrow afternoon) and the project will be finished before that.
In 2, there is no specific time before which the project will be finished. The project will be finished somewhere in the afternoon.
By 7 o’clock, the rain will probably have stopped.
The person who is saying this is saying this before 7 o’clock. It’s raining now. But the person who says this thinks there won’t be any rain before or at 7 o’clock.
Instead of providing a time expression as end time, there can also be an event that indicates some action in the future:
By the time Alemandra comes home, Felix will have cooked soup.
“By the time Alemandra comes home” indicates some future point. Before that, Felix will finish cooking soup.
For questions, put “will” first. Example: Will Felix have cooked soup by the time Alemandra comes home?
For negative sentences, add “not:” By the time Alemandra comes home, Felix won’t have cooked soup. (Won’t = will not.)
Exercise with Future Perfect
In this exercise, write the correct forms of future perfect tense of the verbs between the brackets ():
You can do this quiz online when you follow this link.
1 “__________ you __________ (sell) all these items by the end of the month?” asked his boss.
2 I __________ (read) this magazine by the time my number shows up at the dentist.
3 I don’t think I _________ (live) enough if I die tomorrow.
4 How many jobs __________ you ___________ (work) in before you retire?
5 The Pope _________ (visit) 20 countries by the end of his world tour.
6 ________ the students __________ (studied) enough writing skills to be able to write an essay?
7 ________ Noa _________ (clean) her room before her mum comes back?
8 Hopefully, by the end of the year, Chris __________ (get) a promotion.
9 She ___________ (not finish) writing this document before her lunch break.
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