Future Perfect Progressive Tense in English Grammar

Introduction

The future perfect progressive, also future perfect continuous, is used to emphasise the progression and duration of an action up to a certain time in the future. When we use the future perfect progressive, we look back at a past action from a future point in time. This tense also expresses assumptions about that will likely have happened by a certain time. The future perfect progressive is formed with will + have + been + present participle or -ing form of the main verb.

Learn the rules for conjugating the English future perfect progressive tense and get tips on its usage. In the exercises, you can practise your English grammar skills.

Example

They recently changed the road signs here and now there has been an accident. The driver won’t have been paying attention. The traffic is backed up for miles. The other cars will have been waiting for hours for the accident to be cleared.

Now it seems that you are not paying attention anymore, you’ve gone right through the stop sign! In ten minutes, you will have been driving non-stop for six hours. We ought to stop for a break.

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Usage

We can use the English future perfect progressive tense to:

  • emphasise the length of an action in progress at a certain time in the future, usually with reference to the duration of the action
    Example:
    In ten minutes you will have been driving non-stop for six hours.
  • express what we imagine or think is happening at a certain future or present time
    Example:
    The cars will have been waiting for hours for the accident to be cleared.
  • express an assumption about what was happening at a certain time in the past.
    Example:
    There was an accident last week. The driver won’t have been paying attention to the road signs.

To note:

When using the future perfect progressive in English, we usually include a reference to a specific time such as next year, by this time, last week.

Example:
By this time tomorrow, you will have been driving for 24 hours!

Conjugation of English Future Perfect Progressive Tense

To conjugate the English future perfect progressive tense, we follow the rule: will + have, been + present participle or -ing form of the main verb. The table below provides an overview of conjugations in the the positive, negative and interrogative form. The conjugation is the same for all forms.

positivenegativequestion
all forms are the same I will have been speaking I will not have been speaking Will I have been speaking?

Exceptions

The present participle is generally formed by adding -ing to the base of a verb. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • An -e at the end of the word is removed, but -ee, -oe and -ye remain unchanged.
    Example:
    come – coming
    but: agree – agreeing
  • The final consonant is doubled in words that have a short stressed vowel before the final consonant. However, -w, -x and -y are not doubled.
    Example:
    sit – sitting
    but: mix – mixing
  • An -l as a final consonant after a vowel is always doubled in British English but not in American English.
    Example:
    travel – travelling (British)
    traveling (American)
  • An -ie at the end of the word is replaced with a -y
    Example:
    lie – lying

Contractions

Contractions are a combination of certain pronouns, verbs and the word not. They are mostly used in spoken and informal written English. The table below provides an overview of contractions of will in the English future perfect progressive tense.

long formcontractionexample
will …’ll they’ll
will not …’ll not/… won’t I’ll not/I won’t

Negated Contractions

In written English, we usually form contractions with a pronoun and an auxiliary verb, but not with a noun and an auxiliary verb.

Example:
He’ll not have been driving for six hours.
(but not: Her husband’ll/Marc’ll not’ve been driving for six hours.)

Negated contractions, formed with an auxiliary verb and not, can be used after nouns as well as pronouns.

Example:
He won’t have been driving for six hours.
Her husband/Marc won’t have been driving for six hours.