In this article, we’ll break down how to form and when to use the future perfect tense. For resources on all of the verb tenses, visit our main tenses page.
Forming the Future Perfect Tense
Quick Reference Table: The Future Perfect Tense in All forms
V3 → the third form (Past Participle) of an irregular verb
Ved → Past Participle form for regular verbs
The formula for the future perfect tense is: will + have + past participle.
Forming the past participle is easy. Just add -ed or -d to the end of most regular verbs. However, English is loaded with irregular verbs.
Making It Negative
To use the future perfect tense in a negative form, use this formula: Will + not + have + the past participle.
Asking a Question
When asking a question in the future perfect tense, use the formula: Will + subject + have + past participle
** A note on ‘Going to’**
It is also possible to use ‘going to’ with am/is/are in this tense.
However, this is rarely used in speaking, and you risk being too wordy in writing! But it’s good to know that this form is correct—and you could possibly hear it at some point.
When To Apply the Future Perfect Tense
Use #1: When describing an action that will be completed before another action or point in time in the future.
In other words: an action that will be completed between now and some point of time in the future.
**Note: You must have a specific end for an action when using the future perfect tense. If you do not have a specific end, use the simple future tense.**
Use #2: When you’re speaking about something that’s been happening for a while and will continue until another action in the future.
Generally, non-continuous verbs are used in this situation, but there are exceptions.
The future perfect tense can be a little tricky. But, if you remember these uses, you’ll be able to recognize it and communicate using the tense effectively.
For more ESL resources and grammar topics visit the Magoosh Speaking Site. If you’re looking for even more help in achieving your language goals, make an appointment with one of our private online tutors today!