The future perfect continuous tense is one of the least used tenses in English, but it's still good to know how to recognize and use it. This complex tense is used to express a long action or state happening in the future and is expected to be completed by a certain reference point in the future. We'll discuss the structure, how it's used, and provide examples to clarify the concept better.
Formation of Future Perfect Continuous Tense
The future perfect continuous tense is formed using subject+will have been+verb(ing). The structure is slightly different in the case of interrogative and negative sentences which we are going to discuss further.
The positive statement in the Future Perfect Continuous Tense is structured as follows: [Subject + 'will have been' + Verb(ing)]. For example:
- 'They will have been studying for four hours.'
- 'She will have been working at this company for three years next month.'
To make negative statements in the Future Perfect Continuous, we use the same structure with 'not' added after 'will'. So, the structure becomes [Subject + 'will not have been' + Verb(ing)]. For example:
- 'We will not have been living here for two years.'
- 'John will not have been playing football.'
For asking questions in the Future Perfect Continuous Tense, the structure changes to ['Will' + Subject + 'have been' + Verb(ing)?]. For example:
- 'Will you have been waiting long?'
- 'Will she have been working at this company for three years next month?'
Usage of Future Perfect Continuous Tense
The Future Perfect Continuous tense isn't commonly used in everyday English. However, it is still important to understand because it occurs in English literature and sophisticated writing. Below are some instances where you might use or encounter this tense:
To Show Duration of a Future Action
This is the main use of the future perfect continuous tense. It's used to show an action that's expected to start in the future and continue up to a specified time in the future. For example:
- 'I will have been reading this book for two hours by lunchtime.'
- 'They will have been driving for eight hours by the time they reach their destination.'
To Speculate About Past Activities
This tense can be used to make assumptions or speculate about activities that have likely been happening. For example:
- 'He looks tired. He will have been working all night.'
Signal Words for Future Perfect Continuous Tense
There are some signal words that you can look for to identify the Future Perfect Continuous Tense. These include 'for', 'since', and 'by the time'. For example:
- 'I will have been studying for two hours by 8pm.'
- 'She will have been waiting for you since 7 am.'
That sums our lesson on the Future Perfect Continuous Tense. This tense might seem complex due to its structure, but with practice, it can quickly become second-nature. So, factor these points outlined here when crafting sentences in this tense. Keep practising, and over time, it would seem less daunting and more familiar.