Future Perfect Continuous | Grammar

Future Perfect Continuous tense

The Future Perfect Continuous tense looks at the past from the future.

How do we make the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the Future Perfect Continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary will + auxiliary have + auxiliary be + main verb
invariable invariable past participle present participle
will have been base + ing

For negative sentences in the Future Perfect Continuous tense, we insert not between will and have. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the Future Perfect Continuous:

  subject auxiliary verb   auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb  
+ I will   have been working for four hours.
+ You will   have been travelling for two days.
She will not have been using the car.
We will not have been waiting long.
? Will you   have been playing football?
? Will they   have been watching TV?

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

Contraction with Future Perfect Continuous

In speaking with the Future Perfect Continuous tense, we often contract the subject and WILL:

I will I’ll
you will you’ll
he will
she will
it will
we will we’ll
they will they’ll
  • I’ll have been driving for five hours.
  • She’ll have been watching TV.

In negative sentences, we may contract with won’t, like this:

I will not I won’t
you will not you won’t
he willnot
she will not
it will not
he won’t
she won’t
it won’t
we will not we won’t
they will not they won’t
  • You won’t have been drinking, will you?
  • We won’t have been driving for long.

How do we use the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

The Future Perfect Continuous tense is like the Future Perfect tense, but it expresses longer actions or states extending up to some specific event or time in the future. For example:

  • Ram starts waiting at 9am. I am late and cannot arrive before 10am. Ram will have been waiting for an hour by the time I meet him.
Ram will have been waiting for one hour when I arrive.
past present future
  Ram starts waiting at 9am.
    I will arrive in future at 10am.

Notice that the long action or state can start at any time in the past, present or future, but of course it always ends in the future.

Next Monday we will have been living here for exactly five years.
past present future
  5 yrs ago    

Look at these examples:

  • He’ll be tired when he gets here. He’ll have been travelling all day.
  • How long will Jo have been working when he retires?
  • Next month I‘ll have been studying Chinese for two years.
  • Will you have been working when I arrive?
  • He won’t have been studying long enough to qualify.
  • Next week Jane is going to swim from England to France. By the time she gets to France she‘ll have been swimming non-stop for over thirteen hours.

Note that continuous tenses are also called progressive tenses. So the Future Perfect Continuous tense is sometimes called the Future Perfect Progressive tense.

Back to 12 English Tenses

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READ:  Jayne Bernasconi | Towson University

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