If you speak English, you most likely make use of the English future tense every day. And chances are, if you're not an English scholar or planning on teaching English, you don't know how to explain how each of the seven tenses making up the future tense system are formed and used (or even that there are seven variations!). For the average person; there is one future tense and that's all there is to know. If you want to know more (or plan on teaching English) then knowledge of each of the seven minor tenses that make up the past tense is required. The seven future tenses are: present simple, present continuous, BGI, future simple, future continuous, future perfect and future perfect continuous.
This simple guide will tell you everything you need to know about the seventh of the future tenses, the future perfect continuous tense.
When is the future perfect continuous tense used?
The future perfect continuous tense is used when:
- Referring to how long something will have been going on for at a certain point in the future.
By the end of the month I will have been an accountant for eight years; By end of the year I will have written most of my latest novel
Note: This may seem the same as the future perfect tense, but the future perfect tense emphasizes completed actions and events â the future perfect continuous tense indicates that the activity is not complete and will continue after the point in the future.
How is the future perfect continuous tense formed?
Tenses have three variations: Affirmative, Negative and Question
-Affirmative: Subject + Will + Have + Been + Present Participle
In five minutes I will have been here for nine hours; This time tomorrow I will have been a member for a full year
-Negative: Subject + Will + Not + Have + Been + Present Participle
In five minutes I will not have been here for nine hours; This time tomorrow I will not have been a member for a full year
- Question: Will + Subject + Have + Been + Present Participle
In five minutes, will you have been here for nine hours?; This time tomorrow, will you have been a member for a full year?
Note: The present participle is the "ing" form of a verb. Also, the same sentences have been repeated to illustrate the difference in formation, but if we know the amount of time, we will usually not ask a question like those above. A more natural question would be: In five minutes, how long will you have been here?
Keep it simple
It may seem that there is no simple way of learning the English tense system, but by taking one minor tense at a time and practicing its formation and different uses, one will find that the tense system can be learnt fairly quickly. Knowledge of parts of speech and the rules to form each tense is important in the beginning, and once these are fully remembered, practice will see the entire system becoming much easier to understand and use naturally and correctly.