Future Perfect Tense: Definition, Structure, and Usage

The future perfect tense is used to talk about an action that will finish before another event in the future. The future perfect tense has a specific timeline of events that must be mentioned in the sentence to make sense. You can use time expressions like as soon as, later, at a later date, before, and tomorrow.  

For example:

  •  She will have finished making dinner by the time the guests arrive. 
  • They will have finished painting the drama set before the rest of the materials arrive.

How Do You Form the Future Perfect Tense?

For the future perfect tense, use “will have” followed by the past participle of the main verb.

  1. For regular verbs, add “-d” or “-ed” to the base form of the verb. For example, “talk” becomes “talked.”
  2. Some verbs change their spelling completely. These are called “irregular verbs.” For example, “buy” changes to “bought.”

The Future Perfect Tense Formula

The formula to create the future perfect tense is:

  • Subject + will have + past participle verb form

For example:

  • They will have started law school next month after summer break is over.
  • I will have invested in her education for ten years once she turns eighteen. 

You can also write the future perfect tense in the passive voice:

  • Will + have been + past participle

For example:

  • The prize will have been won by her once the match ends.

The Future Perfect Tense Question Formula

When asking questions in the future perfect tense, the correct verb form sequence is the auxiliary verb, subject, and verb. 

The formula to create the future perfect interrogative sentence is:

  • Will + subject + have + past participle

For example: 

  • Will the scientists have created a time machine when we reach 2080?

If you want to form a question with other question words, use this equation:

  • Question word + will + subject + have + past participle

For example:

  • Where will the teachers have met by the time we use the session hall?
  • How will you have completed the essays before your new computer arrives?

The Future Tense Negative Formula

For negative sentences, use “will not have” followed by the past participle form of the verb.


  • Subject + will not have + past participle

For example:

  • We will not have left the mountain by the time the storm arrives.

What Are the Uses of the Future Perfect Tense?

The primary use of the future perfect tense is to show an action that will be completed before another event or time in the future. 

For example: 

  • I will have earned a university degree before I graduate from high school

By this time tomorrow night, we will have landed in Japan.