What is Future Perfect Tense? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is Future Tense? - Definition & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Future & Future Perfect
  • 1:08 Why Do I Need Future Perfect?
  • 2:10 How Do You Form Future…
  • 3:08 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Boyles

David has a Master's in English literature and is completing a Ph.D. He has taught college English for 6 years.

Future perfect is a tense that is used to describe events that will start in the future and end at some specific point. It is formed by combining 'will have' and the past participle of the verb.

Future and Future Perfect

Future perfect tense is probably one of the most confusing and frequently misused verb tenses. In order to use it, you need several very specific conditions, which makes people unsure of when they need it and how exactly it is formed.

So before we get to future perfect, let's start with something more simple. Simple future tense, to be specific. As its name implies, this is the tense used most often to describe events in the future. It is formed by combining the helping verb 'will' with the present tense or root form of the verb:

  • I will walk to school tomorrow.
  • I will finish my homework after dinner.

Simple, just like the name says. So why do we need future perfect? Well, future perfect is used for actions that will start in the future, but will end by some certain point. It is part of a group of perfect tenses (there is also past and present perfect) that describe when events are not only started but completed or 'perfected.'

Why Do I Need Future Perfect?

So you're probably wondering, 'Do I really need to use this tense? It sounds pretty specific.' It is, and you probably won't use it every day, but it will come up, and it allows you to be more specific when describing events in the future. For example, let's look at this common New Year's resolution:

  • I will lose weight by exercising every day.

Okay, that's all well and good, but that resolution is likely to be forgotten by mid-January. Let's try being a little more specific:

  • By the end of January, I will have lost ten pounds by exercising every day.

By giving a specific time, your writing is more clear, and you're probably more likely to keep your resolution. Let's take one form of our simple future sentences from earlier. Earlier, we wrote:

  • I will finish my homework after dinner.

But what if you want to finish your homework before dinner, so you can watch TV after dinner? Use the future perfect:

  • I will have finished my homework before dinner.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support