Il Futuro Anteriore – The Future Perfect Posted by on May 14, 2021 in Grammar


Last week we talked about il futuro semplice and this week I’d like to discuss il futuro anteriore, or the future perfect in English.

Photo from pixababy, CCO.

Take this example of the future perfect in English: In three years, I will have succeeded in learning Italian.

Come possiamo dire questa frase in Italiano? How can we say this sentence in Italian? Pensaci su… think about it:

Fra tre anni, sarò riuscito(a) ad imparare l’italiano!


You will notice il futuro semplice as the ‘auxiliary verb’ (from the latin word auxilium, which means ‘help’) and then the secondary verb in the participio passato, the past participle.

So il futuro anteriore is a lot similar to the passato prossimo (present perfect) in its construction, the only difference being the auxiliary verb is in il futuro semplice.  

⚠(Need some review of il passato prossimo? Check out our blog here.) ⚠


In my example, why is there an ‘o’ and an ‘a’ for the past participle riuscito(a)? Just a reminder, just as in the passato prossimo, if the auxiliary verb is essere it must make agreement with the subject!

Therefore, if you are male you would say:

Fra tre anni, sarò riuscito ad imparare l’italiano!

And if you are female you would say:

Fra tre anni, sarò riuscita ad imparare l’italiano!

For a mixed group of genders or for all male:

Fra tre anni, saremo riusciti ad imparare l’italiano!

For a group of all females:

Fra tre anni, saremo riuscite ad imparare l’italiano!


Let’s look at some more esempi:

Alle otto avremo già ballato – By eight o’clock we will already have danced

Quando sarai andato(a) via, farò la doccia – When you will be gone, I will take a shower

Fra due anni, sarò gia laureato(a) – In two years, I will have already graduated

Domani a quest’ora Maria sarà già andata via – Tomorrow by this time Maria will already be gone


When do we use il futuro anteriore?

The Italian future perfect is used to talk about an action which will have already finished before another action occurs in the future, which is pretty straightforward for an English speaker. But in can also be used in cases to express hypothesis or a doubt about the past. 


La mia amica non è andata al lavoro ieri, sarà stata malata – My friend didn’t go to work yesterday, she must have been sick


⚠There are workarounds to il futuro anteriore that you will especially hear in casual conversation: ⚠

dopo1after + past infinitive

Ti dirò dopo che avrò verificato con la mia amica =  Ti dirò dopo aver verificato con la mia amica – I’ll tell you after checking with my friend

forse2maybe + pasatto prossimo

Marco non è venuto alla festa, avrà cambiato idea = Marco non è venuto alla festa, forse ha cambiato ideaMarco didn’t come to the party, maybe he changed his mind.

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Michael Paul Kunkler:

    Q: Marco non è venuto alla festa, avrà cambiato idea = Marco non è venuto alla festa, forse ha cambiato idea – Marco didn’t come to the party, maybe he changed his mind.

    Wouldn’t this be “forse abbia cambiato idea”?

  2. Riccardo:

    Very helpful. Many Thanks !!!

  3. Catherine Mitchell:

    I’m curious as to why you inserted an extra verb in your Italian translation. What you have actually said is: in 3 years I will have succeeded in learning Italian. A more accurate Italian translation is: fra 3 anni avrò imparato italiano.

    • Bridgette:

      @Catherine Mitchell Hi Catherine, thanks for your comment. That’s true, the English translation doesn’t match well. I should have translated it as: I will have succeeded in learning Italian. I just really wanted to use riuscire to demonstrate the agreement w/ essere. 🙂 Changing the English now, thanks!

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