Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

You may be intimidated by future perfect grammar.

It’s actually very simple when you break it down!

You have likely used it correctly without realizing it.

By the end of this episode, you will no longer be hesitant to use the future perfect tense in English.

This will help you be less stressed with grammar and more confident with your English skills.

Advanced grammar

Today’s episode will be discussing the usage of the future perfect tense.

This is an interesting and advanced grammar lesson that will help you elevate your English skills.

Aubrey mentioned the following example sentence:

“We’ll have finished recording before she arrives.”

This is a good example to show you the structure of future perfect tense.

This can be tricky.

Aubrey and Lindsay will share today how you can use this properly and easily identify when to use it.

Don’t miss part 1!

Today’s episode is actually the second part of a previous episode that was inspired by a question from a listener.

You can listen to episode AEE 1881: Past Perfect Grammar for Clarifying in English.

The listener asked about both the past perfect and future perfect tense.

Grammar can be a challenging part of learning English.

Don’t let that hinder you from making connections.

All Ears English has always encouraged students and listeners to put connection above perfection.

As long as you get your point across and the person you’re talking to is engaged, it doesn’t matter if your grammar is spot on.

However, there are some situations when you should try to elevate your grammar to impress!

What is future perfect tense?

The future perfect tense is an action that will finish sometime in the future before some other event in the future.

But since this is in perfect tense, the action will finish in the future.

When using the future perfect tense, you are imagining yourself in the future and looking back at what has happened.

Here are some examples:

  • By the time this episode comes out, America will have finished the mid-term elections.
  • I will have finished eating dinner by the time you get home.

You can hear this often used by busy people.

When schedules are coinciding with each other, events often happen and finish at conflicting times.

You need the future perfect tense to talk about it.

Three layers of the future perfect tense

Here is a technique to easily construct a future perfect tense yourself.

Lindsay and Aubrey share a 3-layer grammar structure to easily use the future perfect tense in your English conversations.

LAYER 1: The subject + will have + past participle

Examples:

  • She will have left…

‘She’ is the subject + will have + the past participle ‘left.’

  • We will have eaten…

‘We’ is the subject + will have + the past participle ‘eaten.’

Past participles are crucial for perfect tenses.

They are often irregular so you can’t just take a verb and add ‘-ed’ at the end to make it a past participle.

It also doesn’t work well to memorize lists of verbs.

You have to consume a lot of English to remember past participles.

They will start to sound correct to you when you hear them used correctly often.

LAYER 2: Insert a time indicator

These time indicators will indicate that one action occurred before another.

They are phrases like ‘when,’ ‘before’ and ‘by the time.’

Examples:

  • We will have eaten before…
  • She will have left by the time…

It is important to set the time of the action.

This makes the meaning of the sentence clear.

LAYER 3: Present tense

Sentences with future perfect always contain present tense.

This will consist of a subject and verb conjugated in present simple.

Examples:

  • We will have eaten before you arrive.
  • She will have left by the time you get home.

Roleplay

The following roleplay will help you better understand how to use future perfect in a conversation.

In this scenario, Lindsay has stepped outside to take a call from Aubrey, her co-worker.

Aubrey: Have you guys started the meeting?

Lindsay: Yes, they started 30 minutes ago. They’ll have finished going over the agenda when I get back.

Aubrey: Oh boy! I’m about 45 minutes out still.

Lindsay: I think it’ll have ended by the time you get here.

This is a very uncomfortable feeling to be so late for an important meeting.

This can often happen if you pack your schedule with many meetings and commitments.

In the roleplay, you will notice that there are a lot of contractions like ‘I’ll’, ‘we’ll’, or ‘they’ll.’

This is very normal for native English speakers to shorten words to make the conversation easier and faster.

Another thing to note is that when Lindsay said: “…it’ll have ended by the time you get here.”

This is a very formal and professional way to tell a colleague that she won’t make it.

Takeaway

Learning the grammar rules will definitely help you sound like a native English speaker.

It is nice to be aware of the grammar tenses but don’t let it get in the way of speaking your mind and making that connection in English.

Don’t let learning derail you from a valuable opportunity to build a relationship.

Another insight from this episode is to learn to prioritize.

Don’t take on too many commitments all at the same time so you can avoid missing anything.

You don’t want to end up burned out because you took on too many responsibilities.

What will you have done by the time today ends?

Share in our comments to practice using future perfect!

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