The future perfect tense is used to indicate a future event that has a definitive end date. It follows a general formula of will + have + verb (ending in -ed).
For example, “Shannon will have gardened by then.” The crux of these verb tenses is that you’re pointing toward the future, but there’s a stop to it that will have occured before this hypothetical future. Let’s take a look at some future perfect tense examples; it’ll clear things right up.
So, now we know know future perfect tense verbs contain will + have + verb (ending in -ed). Again, they’re indicating something that will happen in the future. But, that “something” will have ended. For example, “You will have worked ten hours by Saturday.”
In other words, the ten hours of working will occur between now (the present) and Saturday (the future).
In another article, we discuss verbs in the future perfect progressive tense. An example of this tense would be, “Shannon will have been gardening for three years by then.” There, we learn Shannon will not only be gardening in the future, but she will also be continuously doing so beyond the “then” in the future.
Perfect tense and perfect progressive tense… It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Truth is, it’s just a formidable way of saying, “We’re discussing the future.”
If the future is progressing (as in the progressive perfect tense), then things are ongoing. If the future is perfect, then things are happening, but with an end date.
To indicate the future perfect tense, make use of will + have + verb (ending in -ed). Let’s have some fun with a few examples.
- Margaret will have married Jerome by then.
- The storm will have raged by the time we arrive.
- Mom will have cooked our favorite meal.
While it’s best to define future perfect tense examples with the formula will + have + verb (ending in -ed), don’t forget about our friend, the irregular verb. These are verbs that don’t require an -ed at the end. Rather, they morph into a completely different form to indicate the past instead of the -ed suffix.
Let’s look at three more examples:
- I will have slept eight hours. (not sleeped)
- The plant will have grown by then. (not growed)
- Henry will have ran by ten o’clock. (not runned)
Each of the above examples are declarative sentences. That is, they’re simply making a statement or, perhaps, answering a question. But, the future perfect tense may also be used to pose a question. The formula for these is will + subject + have + verb (ending in -ed or irregular form).
Here are three examples:
- Will you have married Jerome by then?
- Will Mom have cooked our favorite meal?
- Will the plant have grown by then?
The future perfect 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 + verb (ending in -ed or irregular form).
Consider these three examples:
- I will not have eaten by then.
- Henry will not have ran by ten o’clock.
- Jenny will not have saved enough money yet.
That’s a wrap on these future concepts with mighty labels. When trying to perfect the English language, don’t run away from frightening, technical-sounding terms. Truth is, there’s usually a formula to follow.
If not, as in the case of irregular verbs, then a little bit of memorization will be your friend. For more on this topic - and a handy printable - enjoy How to Conjugate Progressive Verb Tenses.