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Have a perfect future with the future perfect Posted by on Jan 29, 2021 in English Grammar, English Language, English Vocabulary

Good morning, dear readers! January is drawing to an end and many of the questions and uncertainties from the previous year still haven’t been answered. My favorite discussion topic for this month, New Year’s Resolutions, ended up falling flat, as none of my friends or students were really eager to make any plans for the future. True, the upcoming months are certainly unclear. And when we try to look ahead, we often wonder, as the timeless Doris Day would put it: where will I be?

Let’s talk about the future (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay )

Well, many experts have been claiming that making plans and thinking about what’s to come is still important for our mental health as it helps us gain perspective. And let’s face it, a little optimism won’t hurt anyone. Besides, there’s the ideal verb tense for that: the future perfect. So let’s kick it off with the following question: What will you have done by the end of this year?

As you may have predicted, the future perfect refers to an action that is expected to be completed before a certain time in the future. So it’s kind of like talking about the past in the future.

Check out this example below:

The government believes that most of the population will have vaccinated by December.

This sentence expresses that the government is most likely already vaccinating the population and intends to complete it before the aforementioned date.Therefore the best way to use the future perfect is when you are thinking about an action that will have already finished at a specified point in time. So basically, it is useful for making plans, predictions, expressing intentions and projects. And when you think of a time frame, it is common to use structures like: by, by the time, by next (week, year, etc.), when, before. And the structure is pretty simple:

How about we have a look at some examples to have a better idea of how the future perfect works?:

  • Linda will have left before you get there.
  • You can’t move in to the new apartment next week because the workers won’t have finished the renovation.
  • We don’t have time to eat, by the time we finish our meal, our plane will have taken off
  • On Saturday, I will have lived here in France for four years.
  • By the time we’re sixty, we’ll have already retired.
  • My husband will have prepared breakfast before the children wake up.
  • It’s been raining all day, but I’m sure it will have stopped by tomorrow.
  • Will you have finished work by the time I pick you up?
  • I called the shop and unfortunately they won’t have repaired my car by tomorrow. I’ll have to take the bus to work. 
  • Remember to take notes, otherwise will have forgotten everything by the time you get home. 
  • Sure, you can call me at work at 9am. I will have arrived at the office by 8.
  • By the time you read this I will have already left.
  • According to the city planner, they will have built the new overpass by the end of the year. 
  • I’m late for class today. By the time I get there, the lesson will have already started
  • In two years, I will have graduated from college.
  • According to my calculations, I won’t have earned enough money in two months to buy a new computer. 

So, what are your plans? Let us know in the comment box below!

And if you feel like probing further into the perfect tenses, check out this previous post and learn more:

How to be perfect – using the perfect tenses

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  1. Eduardo Darío Mutazzi:

    Excellent explanation of the use of the future perfect tense. Thanks a lot. Eduardo