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Dan uses the future perfect to talk about specific lifetime goals and when he hopes to achieve them.

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BBC English Class

The future perfect

Many people have definite ambitions and plans. They have their lives and careers mapped out with timetables for achieving goals by particular ages and times. Dan is no exception. He has some very ambitious plans for his life and in this video he explains how to use the future perfect verb form to talk about them.

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Hey guys, Dan for BBC Learning English here.

In this session we’re going to be talking about the future perfect. My favourite tense of all the tenses in English, just because of the way it sounds. Listen to it:  The future perfect, it gives me goosebumps, it’s exciting.

And of course, all this will have been done in 90 seconds. Are you ready? Here we go.

So, I, like most people, have dreams and I, like most people, am getting older and I’m thinking to myself - when can I complete these dreams? How can I tick these off my list?

Well, I’m starting think about my 40th birthday, which will be in this year. I was thinking to myself - by my 40th birthday I will have walked across the Antarctic. That would be nice. By my 45th birthday I will have learned to play the piano and of course, before I die I will have travelled to the moon, which is like my lifelong dream.

Now did you hear the grammar that I used? - I will have travelled to the moon. This is called the future perfect. We use it to talk about an action which will be repeated before a future time. The formula is will plus have plus the past participle.

This can be made negative or into a question and is often combined with the preposition ‘by’. So: by the time I’m 40; by the time I get home; by the time I next see you. Other examples could be:

“John, will you have finished that report by four o’clock?”
“Sorry boss, I won’t have finished it by 4 o’clock but I will have finished it by the next day. Is that OK?”

Got it guys? Good, alright. So, I’ve been Dan, you’ve been fantastic. Just imagine, what will you have learned by next year? 

Woah, great timing! The future’s out there guys, you’ve just got to find it. 


The future perfect is formed with:

subject + will + have + past participle

It is often used with the prepostion by followed by a time clause:

  • I will have done it by tomorrow.
  • She will have become president by her 55th birthday.
  • I will have learned four languages by the time I leave university.

To do

Try the quiz to practise the future perfect.


Future Perfect

5 Questions

In each question choose the best option to complete each sentence.

Parabéns! Você completou o exercício.
Excellent! Excelente! Bad luck! Você acertou:
x / y

End of session

Well done, that's the end of this session.


Coming up next it's the language of current affairs in News Review.

Pontos de gramática

  • Future Perfect

    will ('ll) + have ('ve) + past participle

    Used to talk about a time in the future by when a particular activity will be completed.

    I'll have finished the report by tomorrow.
    She won't have done it by the weekend.
    Will you have finished before you go home?

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