Future Perfect Progressive Tense Examples

The future perfect progressive tense, also known as the future perfect continuous tense, is used to indicate a continuous action in the future. The general formula is will + have been + verb (ending in -ing).

An example would be, “Shannon will have been gardening for three years by then.” Not only are we speaking about the future, and Shannon’s gardening, but it seems to be a continuous affair. Let’s take a closer look at this perfect, ongoing affair.

Young boy sleeping in his bed Young boy sleeping in his bed
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Future Perfect Progressive Tense

So, now we know future perfect progressive tense verbs contain will + have been + verb (ending in -ing). They’re indicating something that will happen in the future. And that “something” will be an ongoing occurrence. For example, “By that time, she will have been working here for two years.”

From the perspective of the future, we’re talking about the past, which is still the future to us here in the present. It sounds complicated, but we say things like this quite often. We might say, “By 3031, aliens will have been ruling our planet for 50 years.”

Compared to Future Perfect Tense

In another article, we discuss verbs in the future perfect tense. An example of future perfect tense is, “Shannon will have gardened for three years by then.” There, we’re speaking about the future, and Shannon’s gardening, but it seems to have an end date. Future perfect progressive tenses do not have an end date. They’re ongoing, continuous, or progressive.

Typically Action Verbs

What’s interesting about the future perfect progressive tense is that those -ing verbs will almost always be action verbs, not stative verbs. That is, they’ll largely be verbs carrying out a specific action, not a feeling or something intangible.

For example, it would be rare - although not implausible - to see something like, “She will have been feeling sad for two years.” Typically, perfect progressive tense verbs are paired up with verbs expressing some sort of action.

Example Sentences

Although the label for these verbs is quite a mouthful, you’ll find the concept is rather simple. Things stay the same with this tense. To indicate something happening continuously in the future, make use of will + have been + verb (ending in -ing). Let’s have fun with some examples.

  • She will have been living in Ireland for ten years at that point.
  • If it’s midnight, he will have been sleeping for four hours by then.
  • We will have been studying at this glorious university for three years.
  • When our parents get married, I will have been singing professionally for over a year.
  • By our 40th wedding anniversary, this plant will have been growing for 35 years.
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Used in a Question

The above examples indicate statements made as declarative sentences. That is, they’re simply making a statement or, perhaps, answering a question. But, the future perfect progressive tense may also be used to pose a question. The formula for these is will + subject + have been + verb (ending in -ing). Here are three examples:

  • At that point, will you have been living in Ireland for ten years?
  • Will he have been sleeping for four hours by midnight?
  • Will we have been studying at this university for three years at that point?
  • By the time our parents get married, will you have been singing for a whole year?
  • By our 40th wedding anniversary, will this plant have been growing for 35 years?

Negative Statements

The future perfect progressive tense may also be used in the negative form to indicate a continuous action will not be happening in the future. The formula will read will + not + have been + verb (ending in -ing). Here are three examples:

  • At that point, I will not have been living in Ireland for ten years - only two.
  • He will not have been sleeping for four hours by midnight.
  • By then, we will not have been studying at this university for three years.
  • I will not have been singing professionally for one year by the time our parents get married.
  • By our 40th wedding anniversary, this plant will not have been growing for 35 years.

Verbs Shape Our World

Thanks to verbs, we can speak in many different tenses. We can discuss the past, the future, and the present with ease. As for the past, someone might say, “She walked to work every morning.” For the future, someone might say, “She will walk to work every morning.” And, for the present, someone might say, “She walks to work every morning.”

You can see why verbs are not only essential, but multi-faceted. They have tremendous power over our understanding of a particular sentence. For more on this important part of speech, take a look at these categories of English verb tenses.