Unit 4.1

Future Perfect Continuous

Introduction

We use future perfect continuous tense to talk about a continuous action that will be completed at some point in the future. It is often used with time expressions.

Form

Future perfect continuous has these three forms:

Affirmative

Its structure, in the affirmative form, is:
Subject + will + have + been + [verb + -ing] + …

SUBJECT FUTURE SIMPLE AUXILIARY VERB BEEN PRESENT PARTICIPLE
I/You/He/She/It/We/You/They  will have been walking

Negative

Its structure, in the negative form, is:
Subject + will not + have + been + [verb + -ing] + …

  • Negative short form is: won’t.
SUBJECT FUTURE SIMPLE + NOT AUXILIARY VERB BEEN PRESENT PARTICIPLE
I/You/He/She/It/We/You/They  will not
have been walking

Interrogative

Its structure, in the interrogative form, is:
Will + Subject + have + been + [verb + -ing] + …?

FUTURE SIMPLE SUBJECT AUXILIARY VERB BEEN PRESENT PARTICIPLE QUESTION MARK
Will I/You/He/She/It/We/You/They have been walking ?

Example

  • won’t have been investing in architecture by the end of 2020.
  • The company will have been already trading for 2 weeks after the new manager’s arrival.
  • After the new manager arrival, the company still won’t have been trading.
  • Will the company have been trading for 2 weeks after the new manager arrival?
  • They will have been negotiating for 3 years this summer.

Use

We use future perfect continuous to talk about a continuous action that will be completed at some point in the future.

We can use time expressions such as for two minutes, for 5 years, since Saturday… 

We can use future perfect to show the relation of cause and effect.

Summary

We use future perfect continuous to talk about a continuous action that will be completed at some point in the future and to show the relation of cause and effect.

We can use it in its different forms:

  • Affirmative: We start with the subject followed by will have been and a verb that ends with -ing.
  • Negative: We start with the subject followed by will not have been and a verb that ends with -ing.
  • Interrogative: We start with will followed by the subject followed by have been and the a verb that ends with -ing (the sentence ends with a question mark).

We can use time expressions such as: for 5 years, since Saturday… 

For example:

— Affirmative: I will have been working with you for 3 years next week.” 
— Negative: “I will not have been working with you for 3 years next week.”
— Interrogative: Will I have been working with you for 3 years next week?
We use the future perfect continuous because the action of working for 3 years will (or will not) be completed in the future, meaning next week.
“I will be working next week.” = We use the future continuous because we assume that this event will be taking place in the future.
“I will work next week.” = We use the future simple because we express a future intention.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

RELATED

Future perfect continuous is used to talk about a continuous action that will be completed at some point in the future and to show the relation of cause and effect.

In English, you can learn more about an action that will be completed before a certain time in future structures, at B2 level, in Future perfect.

  • At B1 you can learn about actions will be in progress in the future with the  Future continuous and at A2 level, about future events in Future simple.

Exercises


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