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Future Perfect Tense

Tense Can Be Used To Refer To Future or Completed Actions


The future perfect tense normally is used to refer to an event or action that hasn't happened yet but is expected or predicted to before another occurrence. In a sentence such as "By this time tomorrow I will have left," "will have left" is in the future perfect tense.

In English, the future perfect tense is expressed, as in the example above, by using "will have" (or "shall have") followed by the past participle.

The Spanish future perfect tense is formed in much the same way as English's: the future indicative form of haber followed by the past participle.

It is important to note that while the future perfect tense often has the same use in Spanish as in English, in Spanish it can be used for other purposes as well.

Using the past participle of estudiar as an example, here is the full conjugation of the future perfect tense:

  • habré estudiado — I will have studied
  • habrás estudiado — you (informal singular) will have studied
  • habrá estudiado — he, she, you (formal singular) will have studied)
  • habremos estudiado — we will have studied
  • habréis estudiado — you (informal plural, seldom used in Latin America) will have studied
  • habrán estudiado — they, you (formal plural) will have studied
Here are some examples of Spanish sentences using the future perfect:
  • Habré visto esta película un millón de veces o algo así. I will have seen this film a million times or something like that.
  • La universidad habrá perdido más de 6.000 alumnos en el 2016, según un estudio. The university will have lost more than 6,000 students by 2016, according to a study.
  • Si defendemos nuestro país habremos ganado el futuro. If we defend our country we will have gained the future.
  • Casi 50 millones de trabajadores habrán muerto de sida en 2010 si no mejora el acceso a los medicamentos. Almost 50 million workers will have died of AIDS by 2010 if we don't improve access to medicine.
Because the future tense in Spanish can sometimes be used to indicate likelihood or supposition, the same is true when haber is used in the future tense. In such cases, the future perfect tense can often be translated as "must have," "may have" or "might have" to refer to something that has already occurred:
  • Paula habrá sabido nada de él. Paula must have known nothing about him.
  • No sé de dónde habrán salido estos datos. I don't know where this data might have come from.
  • ¿Adónde habrán ido mis caros amigos? Where might my dear friends have gone?
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