The Future Perfect

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The Future Perfect

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In this episode of 6 Minute Grammar, Callum and Finn look at different uses of the future perfect verb form. We can use it for lots of things - from predicting the timing of future events to even talking about the past!

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Callum
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Callum.

Finn
And me, Finn.

Callum
Today’s programme is all about the future perfect verb form.

Finn Yes, by the end of this programme, you will have learnt how and when to use this form.

Callum
So there was our first example: you will have learnt…

Finn You’ll hear lots more examples in the programme…

Callum And we’ll have a quiz. Now, we usually use the future perfect to talk about an event that we predict or expect to happen or finish before a particular time in the future. Listen to this example from Feifei.

Feifei By the time Christine arrives, we ‘ll have had dinner.

Callum So we ‘ll have had, that’s we will have had - in the future perfect tells us that we will finish dinner before Christine gets back. We might be having dinner right up to just before she returns or we might finish it an hour before …

Finn … but in any case, we will finish before she arrives.

Callum We are using the future perfect to make a prediction about the future. Here are some more examples.

Feifei This time next year, I will have finished my course. Sales will have increased by 20 per cent by next January. By 2020 the city ‘s population will have doubled .

Finn Now we usually use a time phrase with the future perfect, often with by or in . Let ‘s hear examples with by again:

Feifei Sales will have increased by 20 per cent by next January . By 2020 the city ‘s population will have doubled.

Finn And here are some more examples with a by time phrase.

Feifei By the summer I ‘ll have finished all my exams. We’ll have moved house by Christmas .

Callum So we had by next January, by 2020, by the summer and by Christmas . We can also say by the winter … by the end of the week…

Finn …by next month or next year … by this time next week…

Callum In fact you can pretty well use by … with any future date, month, season or special day.

Finn Very special day. Another time expression with by we can use with the future perfect is by the time that … plus a subject and verb. Listen to the example we had earlier, and check out the tense.

Feifei By the time Christine arrives, we’ll have had dinner.

Callum It’s the present simple - arrives.

Callum When we use in for a time phrase with the future perfect, we can use it with a day, a month, a date, a time period. Here are some examples.

Feifei In fifty years’ time , sea levels will have risen by several centimetres. In June I ‘ll have been unemployed for five months. In 2050 , I believe robots will have replaced sales assistants in shops.

Finn As well as for future plans and predictions, we can also use the future perfect to talk about what we believe or imagine has or hasn’t happened at the moment of speaking…

Callum …or in other words, to make educated guesses in the present about the past. Here are some examples.

Feifei There’s no point in calling Judy. She ‘ll have left by now. Let’s hurry! The film won ‘t have started yet. If he’s on schedule, Tom will have arrived in Bangkok yesterday.

Callum So we assume that Judy has already left….

Finn And the film hasn’t started..

Callum
And Tom has arrived in Bangkok.

Finn Now, to form the future perfect we use subject plus will or won ‘t plus have and the past participle of the main verb.

Feifei By the summer I ‘ll have finished all my exams. The film won ‘t have started yet.

Finn Notice that we usually use short forms, so it’s I ‘ll , he ‘ll , they ‘ll and so on; and will not becomes won ‘t .

Callum For questions, it’s will or won ‘t plus subject plus have plus the past participle .

Feifei Will you have finished reading all the reports by this afternoon?

IDENT 6 Minute Grammar from BBC Learning English.

Finn We’re talking about the future perfect verb form.

Callum So, to recap, we use the future perfect to predict events that will have happened before a particular time in the future…

Finn …and to make educated guesses about things happening around now and even in the past.

Callum And we usually use short forms.

Finn So, it’s time for our quiz. Which is correct? Number one. a) By 2060, scientists will have found a cure for cancer. b) By 2060, scientists will found a cure for cancer.

Callum
It ‘s a) By 2060, scientists will have found a cure for cancer.

Finn I hope so, now number 2. a) Jackie won’t have woken up yet. It’s too early. b) Jackie won’t have wake up yet. It’s too early.

Callum It’s a) Jackie won’t have woken up yet. It’s too early.

Finn Finally, number three. a) Will have you done all your work by two? b) Will you have done all your work by two?

Callum
And the answer is b) Will you have done all your work by two?

Finn That’s correct and it’s the end of the show. There’s lots more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar soon.

Both
Bye.

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