Future Perfect Progressive ~Meaning and Use

future-perfect-cont GraphicThis post will show you how to use the Future Perfect Progressive, also called the Future Perfect Continuous. To see how to form the Future Perfect Progressive, click here.

The Future Perfect Progressive tense is not very common and it’s a bit difficult to make. However, at higher levels it is great to understand it, and maybe even use it sometimes too. It has a very precise meaning, which can be convenient.

We use the Future Perfect Progressive to talk about an ongoing action that takes place before a certain time in the future, or to emphasize a course of action. We often use the Future Perfect Progressive to round up to an even number. We like whole, round numbers and this tense allows us to use those numbers.

A future time expression is usually stated or implied, often with by. This can go at the beginning or end of the sentence with no difference in meaning.

  • By the year 2020, linguists will have been studying Indo-European languages for 200 years. (This is easier than saying that now, in 2015, linguists have been studying Indo-European languages for 195 years. It’s easier to just round up to 200)
  • We will have been driving for six hours by the time we get home.
  • By next March, I will have been teaching here for three years.
  • By the end of this month, we will have been living together for six months.
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Future Perfect Progressive ~ Verb Form

This post will show you how to form the Future Perfect Progressive. To see how to use the Future Perfect Progressive, click here.

 

Affirmative Statements

Subject + Will Have Already Been Verb + ing Future Time Expression
I’ll have already been waiting for an hour by the time they arrive.
You’ll have been working for hours when she starts.
She’ll/He’ll/It’ll have been traveling for three months
We’ll have already been studying for hours by dinner time.
They’ll/You’ll (plural) have already been driving by next June.

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Negative Statements

Future Time Expression Subject Still Will Not (won’t) Have Been Verb + ing
By the time I am 30, I   won’t have been working here for ten years.
When I get home, you   won’t have been studying for too long.
In five years’ time she/he/it still won’t have been doing anything with her life.
By 4:00 am, we still won’t have been sleeping.
By next June, they/you (plural) won’t have been traveling anymore.
     

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Wh- Questions

Wh- word Will Subject Have Been Verb + ing Future Time Expression
What will I have been doing by the time I turn 40?
Who will you have been waiting for?
Where will she/he/it have been living by next year?
Why will you have been sleeping all day?
How will we have been surviving for so long?

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Yes/No Questions

Will Subject Have Been Verb + ing Future Time Expression
Will I have been working for hours by the time she gets home?
Will you have been speaking English for a long time before you move to Melbourne?
Will she/he/it have been traveling for a long time when you come back?
Will we have been everything before we leave?
Will they/you (plural) have been exercising all day?

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Short Answers

Yes Subject Will Have   No Subject Will Not (Won’t) Have
Yes, I will have.   No, I won’t have.
Yes, you will have.   No, you won’t have.
Yes, she/he/it will have.   No, he won’t have.
Yes, we will have.   No, we won’t have.
Yes, they will have.   No, they’re not. won’t have.