In this online lesson, Robbie talks about the Future Perfect Tense. He will help you understand it quickly by using real-life examples

Hey guys, Robby here. In this short video, I want to talk to you about a very useful structure we can use for talking about the future and that structure is the Future Perfect. So in the video, we’re going to look at what the Future Perfect is. Why we use it and how we can use it correctly. At the end of the video, we’re also going to do a little bit of practice just to see how well you can use the structure. OK. Let’s go. Have a look here:

What do you see?

Stadium under construction

Looks like a stadium but it’s not complete. It looks like the stadium is still being built. It’s not finished yet. Now the football club says that they’ll have built the new stadium in six months so it’s not finished now but in six months time, it will be finished. So what are we doing here with this sentence? What we’re communicating is that this action, in this case, the stadium being built, will be completed in six months in the future. And that’s what the Future Perfect is. We use the Future Perfect to say that something will be finished before a certain time in the future. Have a look at how we structured this sentence: “they’ll have built”. So, “they’ll” is just a contraction of “they will”.

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To form the Future Perfect we use “will” + “have”. Have a look at the verb. What form is the verb in? It’s not the infinitive. The infinitive is “build” and the past of build is “built”. And the Past Participle is also “built”. So we’re using the third form of the verb:

“Will” + “have” + the Past Participle or the third form of the verb, is how we construct the Future Perfect.

Stadium under construction

Here are a few more points about this structure. The tense is frequently used with the time expressions “by” and “in”. For example, “by” just means “at the latest”. When I say: “I will have finished my assignment by Saturday” – maybe I’ll finish up before this time. And at the very latest it will be completed by Saturday.

We use “in” also plus the time expression but we can say “in six months” or “in six months time”. “In two days” or “in two days time”. There is no difference here. And these expressions can be used at the beginning of the sentence or at the end:

I'll have finished my assignment by next week. 
By next week I'll have finished my assignment. 

Once again no difference in meaning here. For the negative, all we need to do is change “will” to “will not”. Of course, the contracted form is far more common – “won’t” + “have” + Past Participle. And finally, for the questions, all we need to do is just invert “will” with the subject. So instead of “they will have built the stadium”, if we want to make a question, “will they have built the stadium?”

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Great. Let’s have a look at a few more examples:

The decorators will have finished painting by Tuesday, so we can move back into the flat then.

Here we’re using the time expression “by Tuesday”. Maybe the job will be finished before Tuesday, maybe they will have finished the job on Monday but at the very latest the job will be finished by Tuesday. So that’s when we can move back into the apartment.

Using a negative example:

Laura won't have arrived before dinner so I'll leave some food in the oven for her. 

In this case, the action of Laura arriving won’t be complete. The time in the future we’re referring to is just dinner time in this sentence. Finally, an example of a question:

When will they have learned enough English to be able to communicate fluently? 
Future perfect usage examples

You can see once again all we do to form a question is just invert “will” and the subject. “When will they have learned” instead of “they will have learned”.

More practice

All right great. Here is a little bit of practice for you guys. So here we’ve got three sentences you can see in the brackets at the end of each sentence you have a verb. All you need to do is put the verb into the Future Perfect form. Remember, the Future Perfect is “will” + “have” + the Past Participle – the third form of the verb. Let’s take a look at number one:

I usually save one hundred dollars a month. 

So this means by the end of the year I “will” + “have” so “I will have”. This time the verb is “saved” (the past participle of “save”).

By the end of the year. I will have saved twelve hundred dollars. 

Excellent. What about number two?

John writes a chapter of his book every week. 

So this means in four weeks. Remember we can say “in four weeks” or “in four weeks time” – no difference here. So in four weeks, John will have… Just be careful with the verb here. It’s “write”. It’s not a regular verb. The past is “wrote”, and the Past Participle – “written”.

...John will have written four chapters. 

Very good. And finally, number 3:

Sarah is paying for her car. Her last payment is in May. 

So this means that by June, Sarah… Once again we’ve got an irregular verb.

By June Sarah will have paid for her car. 

Excellent. All right. Great job guys. I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions at all please leave a comment below 👇 and I’ll try to get back to you as quickly as possible. Thank you very much for watching and I look forward to seeing you again in a future video. Cheers.

Summary of the lesson:

When do we use Future Perfect Tense?

We use the Future Perfect to say something will be finished before a certain time in the future.

How do we form the Future Perfect?

We use “will” + “have” + the 3rd form of the verb (build –> built)

Adding “in” and “by” time expressions

The tense is frequently used with the time expressions “in” and “by” which mean “at the latest”

How do we use Future Perfect in a negative form?

For the negative, we only need to change “will” to “will not”

A short infographic illustrating everything above:

Future Perfect Tense Infographic with examples.

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