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Unit 1: English In A Minute
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Session 52

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Activity 1

How to use the future perfect continuous

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Let Tom tell you the truth about the future perfect continuous tense. Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Tom
Hi, I'm Tom and today I'm going to show you how to use the future perfect continuous.

When we use the future perfect continuous, we imagine ourselves at a point in the future and we then talk about a continuing action which leads to this point.

Let's practise. At the start of the next scene, I will have been eating noodles for five minutes.

See? It's nearly finished!

We make this tense using subject + will have been + (verb)ing.

For example: At lunchtime, I will have been working for four hours.

And we can also use won't to make the tense negative.

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Did you like that? Why not try these?

EIAM Teaser Future cont opening copy English Class 24: Seven ways of talking about the future______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The future perfect continuous tense

Form
The future perfect continuous tense is formed using: will (or won't) + have + been + (verb)ING.

  • I will have been learning English for five years come this July.
  • It's too soon. I won't have been working for long by then. Come later.
  • The next time we meet will be in 20 years! What will you have been doing by then?

Meaning
We use the future perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that will still be in progress at an imagined time in the future. We often use the future perfect continous in relation to talking about durations - especially with the prepositions 'for' and 'since'.

  • At the start of the next scene, I will have been eating noodles for five minutes.
  • At lunchtime, I'll have been working for five hours.
  • She'll have been travelling to work on the same bus for 20 years.

Time
Unless obvious from the context, we often specify a time when using the future perfect continuous. Time expressions using 'by' are common, especially in relation to the end of a future time. E.g. by the end of the day. 

  • At the start of the next scene, I will have been eating noodles for five minutes.
  • By the time I get home, she will have been working for 45 extra minutes.
  • He won't have been travelling for very long by the end of November. Give him more time.

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