Tenses

In a nutshell, tenses represent the time in which the action takes place. For this reason when trainee teachers are first asked how many tenses they think we have, they are likely to say 3: present, past and future. In some ways they are not wrong, but the reality is we sometimes need to be more specific than, for example, just the past. Here is a brief example:

In one conversation we may want to talk about something that happened last year – lived in France.

The next conversation may require us to talk about something we started doing last year, and we still do now – have lived in France since last year.

We may even want to tell somebody where we were, or what we were doing when something happened – was living in France when I met my wife.

As you can see, we have many different reasons to talk about something in the past, many different things we may want to say. To help us with that we have tenses.

The number of tenses in English is a hotly discussed topic amongst bearded professors across the land. This is simply because experts can’t agree on exactly what’s a structure and what’s a tense. As teachers, or even TEFL trainers, we can’t say “we don’t know”, so the most common answer is 12 tenses. They are:

  • Present Simple
  • Present Continuous
  • Present Perfect
  • Present Perfect Continuous
  • Past Simple
  • Past Continuous
  • Past Perfect
  • Past Perfect Continuous
  • Future Simple
  • Future Continuous
  • Future Perfect
  • Future Perfect Continuous

The common structures that are debated as tenses or not are:

  • Going to
  • Used to
  • Conditionals
  • Would

We are now going to show you all the tenses, including their structure and usage. You will notice that some are more important than others. We don’t use the tenses equally, but at some point your students are going to need them all because we do use them all.

Present Simple

Structure

Positive sentences

VERB I

Iliketomatoes.
Youlikepotatoes.
Helikesbroccoli.
Shelikesfruit.
Itlikesmilk.
Welikechocolate.
Youlikedark bread.
Theylikeonion and garlic.

We form positive sentences in Present Simple by using the 1st form of the verb. The only element requiring extra attention is the -s ending which we add to the verb following he/she/it (3rd person singular).

Questions

DO / DOES + INFINITVE

DoIliketomatoes?
Doyoulikepotatoes?
Doeshelikebroccoli?
Doesshelikefruit?
Doesitlikemilk?
Dowelikechocolate?
Doyoulikedark bread?
Dotheylikeonion and gralic

We use DOES (and not DO) for he/she/it and at the same time there is no >–s ending with the verb (because it’s been transferred to DO => DOES).

Negatives

DON’T / DOESN’T + INFINITVE

Ido not=don’tliketomatoes.
Youdo not=don’tlikepotatoes.
Hedoes not=doesn’tlikebroccoli.
Shedoes not=doesn’tlikefruit.
Itdoes not=doesn’tlikemilk.
Wedo not=don’tlikechocolate.
Youdo not=don’tlikedark bread.
Theydo not=don’tlikeonion and garlic

Again, as with questions, it’s important to stress that we use DOESN’T (and not DON’T) for he/she/it and, again, there is no –s ending with the verb (because it’s been transferred to DON’T => DOESN’T).

Usage

We use Present Simple when talking about:

  1. routine actions, happening with certain regularity

eg She goes to the cinema once a week. / He often calls me.

  1. permanent states (not likely to change)

eg I live in Bristol / They work together.

  1. feelings, emotions, rules, instructions

eg I love fish and chips! / Water boils at 100°C.

  1. future plans presented in the form of timetables, charts, programmes etc.

eg The film begins at 8. / The train leaves in 5 minutes.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Present Simple:

always

usually

often

sometimes

from time to time

rarely

seldom

never

every (day/week/month etc.)

in the morning / afternoon / evening

at night

on Mondays / Tuesdays etc.

Present Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

BE + -ING (be in present form = am/are/is)

Iamreadinga book
Youaresittingon the sofa
Heisplaying the piano
Sheismakingdinner
Itisdrinkingwater
Wearelaughingat her
YouarelearningEnglish
Theyarelisteningto music

We form positive sentences in Present Continuous by using the present form of the verb BE (am/are/is) and by adding the -ing ending to the verb.

Questions

INVERSION

AmIreadinga book?
Areyousittingon the sofa?
Isheplayingthe piano?
Isshemakingdinner?
Isitdrinkingwater?
Arewelaughingat her?
AreyoulearningEnglish?
Aretheylisteningto the music?

We form questions in Present Continuous by means of inversion (that is by reversing the word order). In this case the verb BE swaps places with the pronoun = > I am … becomes Am I …? The -ing ending remains the same.

Negatives

BE + NOT 

Iam not readinga book.
Youare notaren’tsittingon the sofa.
Heis notisn’tplayingthe piano.
Sheis notisn’tmakingdinner.
Itis notisn’tdrinkingwater.
Weare notaren’tlaughingat her.
Youare notaren’tlearningEnglish.
Theyare notaren’tlisteningto music.

We form negatives in Present Continuous by adding NOT to the verb BE. The -ing ending remains the same.

Usage

We use Present Continuous when talking about:

  1. actions that are temporary; not permanent or routine

eg She is watching a film now. / I’m looking for a job.

  1. actions planned for the future

eg He’s going to France next month.

Extra

Time expressions most commonly associated with Present Continuous:

now

at the moment

currently

presently

at present

these days

nowadays

Present Perfect

Structure

 Positive sentences

 HAVE / HAS + III

Ihavespokento him.
Youhaveseenher.
Hehascontactedme.
Shehaspaintedthe room.
Ithasdrunkthe whole bowl of water.
Wehaveargued3 times this week.
Youhavelivedin Cardiff for 10 years.
Theyhavebeenteachers since 2008.

 

We form positive sentences in Present Perfect by using HAVE or HAS plus the verb in the 3rd form. It’s important to stress that we use HAS with he/she/it (3rd person singular).

 Questions

 INVERSION

HaveIspokento him?
Haveyouseenher?
Hashecontactedme?
Hasshepaintedthe room?
Hasitdrunkthe whole bowl of water?
Haveweargued3 times this week?
Haveyoulivedin Cardiff for 10 years?
Havetheybeenteachers since 2008?

We form questions in Present Perfect by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case the word HAVE / HAS swaps places with the pronoun = > I have … becomes Have I …? The 3rd form of the verb remains the same. 

Negatives 

HAVE / HAS + NOT 

Ihave nothaven’tspokento him.
Youhave nothaven’tseenher.
Hehas nothasn’tcontactedme.
Shehas nothasn’tpaintedthe room.
Ithas nothasn’tdrunkthe whole bowl of water.
Wehave nothaven’targued3 times this week.
Youhave nothaven’tlivedin Cardiff for 10 years.
Theyhave nothaven’tbeenteachers since 2008.

We form negatives in Present Perfect by adding NOT to HAVE or HAS. The 3rd form of the verb remains the same. 

Usage 

We use Present Perfect when talking about: 

  1. actions that happened in the past, but we don’t know or it’s not important when they happened

eg She has sorted it out. 

  1. actions completed in the past but having an effect on the present

eg I have broken my leg (→ I can’t walk). 

  1. actions that started in the past and continue til the present

eg I have lived here since I was little. 

  1. recently completed actions

eg I have just finished my homework. 

  1. life experiences

eg I have never been to Australia. 

Extra 

Many new teachers often get confused with Present Perfect because they automatically know that it describes a past action so naturally they want to call it a past tense. Unfortunately, the name of the structure and how we use it doesn’t always make sense. Just remember that because we use ‘have’ or ‘has’ (which we use in the present) it is Present Perfect. 

Time expressions mostly associated with Present Perfect: 

since

for

how long

never

ever

yet

already

just

so far

recently

Present Perfect Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

HAVE / HAS + III

I

have

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours.

You

have

been

waiting

for us for a while.

He

has

been

speaking

to them since this morning.

She 

has

been

dancing

for 2 hours.

It

has

been

standing

here since we moved in.

We

have

been

discussing

this matter for too long.

You

have

been

arguing

since last night.

They

have

been

working

here for years.

We form positive sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous by using HAVE or HAS plus the verb in the 3rd form. It’s important to stress that we use HAS with he/she/it (3rd person singular).

Questions

INVERSION

Have

I

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours?

Have

You

been

waiting

for us for a while?

Has

he

been

speaking

to them since this morning?

Has

she

been

dancing

for 2 hours?

Has

it

been

standing

here since we moved in?

Have

we

been

discussing

this matter for too long?

Have

you

been

arguing

since last night?

Have

they

been

working

here for years?

We form questions in Present Perfect Continuous by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word HAVE / HAS swaps places with the pronoun = > I have … becomes Have I …? The 3rd form of the verb remains the same.

Negatives

HAVE / HAS + NOT 

I

have not

haven’t

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours.

You

have not

haven’t

been

waiting

for us for a while.

He

has not

hasn’t

been

speaking

to them since this morning.

She

has not

hasn’t

been

dancing

for 2 hours.

It

has not

hasn’t

been

standing

here since we moved in.

We

have not

haven’t

been

discussing

this matter for too long.

You

have not

haven’t

been

arguing

since last night.

They

have not

haven’t

been

working

here for years.

We form negatives in Present Perfect Continuous by adding NOT to HAVE or HAS. The 3rd form of the verb remains the same.

Usage

We use Present Perfect Continuous when talking about:

  1.  

actions completed in the past but having visible results in the present, especially when we want to express the cause for the current situation

 

eg I have been cooking dinner. (→ It smells of fried onion).

  1. actions that started in the past and continue til the present, especially when we want to put emphasis on the duration of the action

 

eg I have been waiting for you for an hour!

Extra

Many new teachers often get confused with Present Perfect Continuous because they automatically know that it describes a past action so naturally they want to call it a past tense. Unfortunately, the name of the structure and how we use it doesn’t always make sense. Just remember that because we use ‘have’ or ‘has’ (which we use in the present) it is Present Perfect.

Time expressions mostly associated with Present Perfect Continuous are the same as the ones associated with Present Perfect:

since

for

how long

never

ever

yet

already

just

so far

recently

Past Simple

Structure

Positive sentences

VERB II

Iwentto the cinema yesterday.
Youspoketo her 2 days ago.
Hefinishedthis project last night.
Shedrovehome the other day.
Itstoppedraining 2 hours ago.
Weran5 miles yesterday.
Youflewto India last month.
Theysplit up5 months ago.

We form positive sentences in Past Simple by using the 2nd form of the verb.

Questions

DID + INFINITIVE

DidIgoto the cinema yesterday?
Didyouspeak.to her 2 days ago?
Didhefinishthis project last night?
Didshedrivehome the other day?
Diditstopraining 2 hours ago?
Didwerun5 miles yesterday?
Didyouflyto India last month?
Didtheysplit up5 months ago.

In order to form a question in Past Simple, we use DID at the beginning of a structure. It is very important to stress that the verb form changes from 2nd to infinitive, eg He went → Did he go?

Negatives

DIDN’T + INFINITIVE

 did not=didn’t goto the cinema yesterday.
 did not=didn’t speakto her 2 days ago.
 did not=didn’t finishthis project last night.
 did not=didn’t drivehome the other day.
 did not=didn’t stopraining 2 hours ago.
 did not=didn’t run5 miles yesterday.
 did not=didn’t flyto India last month.
 did not=didn’t split up5 months ago.

We form a negative structure by adding NOT to DID → DIDN’T. Again, it’s very important to note that the verb form changes from 2nd to infinitive, eg I went → I didn’t go.

Usage

We use Past Simple when talking about:

  1. actions that happened in the past and we know exactly when they happened

eg I read this letter 2 days ago.

  1. actions that happened in the past and will never happen again

eg He wrote 20 books in his life. (he’s dead → will not write another book)

  1. actions which were our habits in the past but aren’t any longer

eg I went to school by bus when I was 7.

  1. actions which happened one after another, in chronological order

eg He came in, bowed, introduced himself and waited for my questions.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Past Simple:

yesterday

last (week / month etc.)

ago

then

Past Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

BE + -ING (be in past form → was /were)

Iwasreadinga book for 2 hours last night.
Youweresittingon the sofa when I came home.
Hewasplayingthe piano when she rang.
Shewasmakingdinner while I was washing up.
Itwasstandinghere when I saw it.
Wewerelaughingat her for 20 minutes.
YouwerelearningEnglish and we were learning Spanish
Theywerelisteningto  music last night.

We form positive sentences in Past Continuous by using the past form of the verb BE (was/were) and by adding the -ing ending to the verb.

Questions

INVERSION

WasIreadinga book for 2 hours last night?
Wereyousittingon the sofa when I came home?
Washeplayingthe piano when she rang?
Wasshemakingdinner while I was washing up?
Wasitstandinghere when I saw it?
Werewelaughingat her for 20 minutes?
WereyoulearningEnglish and we were learning Spanish?
Weretheylisteningto music last night?

We form questions in Past Continuous by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the verb BE swaps places with the pronoun = > I was … becomes Was I …? The -ing ending remains the same.

Negatives

BE + NOT 

Iwas notwasn’treadinga book for 2 hours last night.
Youwere notweren’tsittingon the sofa when I came home.
Hewas notwasn’tplayingthe piano when she rang.
Shewas notwasn’tmakingdinner while I was washing up.
Itwas notwasn’tstandinghere when I saw it.
Wewere notweren’tlaughingat her for 20 minutes.
Youwere notweren’tlearningEnglish and we were learning Spanish
Theywere notweren’tlisteningto music last night.

We form negatives in Past Continuous by adding NOT to the verb BE. The -ing ending remains the same.

Usage

We use Past Continuous when talking about:

  1. actions that were happening in the past at a given point of time (were happening and not had happened)

eg He was dancing all night long.

  1. actions that were happening and were interrupted by another action.

eg She was speaking to me when he called.

  1. two actions happening simultaneously in the past

eg He was cooking while I was reading.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Past Continuous are the same as the ones associated with Past Simple (in both tenses we know exactly when something happened / was happening).

yesterday

last (week / month etc.)

ago

then

Past Perfect

Structure

Positive sentences

WILL + INFINITVE 

I

will

go

to school tomorrow.

You

will

get

to know me better.

He

will

learn

how to ski.

She

will

climb

that mountain.

It

will

fall

down.

We

will

be

happy forever.

You

will

meet

a lot of great teachers.

They

will

pass

this exam.

We form positive sentences in Future Simple by using WILL plus the infinitive of the verb. The structure is the same for every pronoun.

Questions

INVERSION

Will

I

go

to school tomorrow?

Will

you

get

to know me better?

Will

he

learn

how to ski?

Will

she

climb

that mountain?

Will

it

fall

down?

Will

we

be

happy forever?

Will

you

meet

a lot of great teachers?

Will

they

pass

this exam?

We form questions in Future Simple by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word WILL swaps places with the pronoun = > I will … becomes Will I …? The rest of the structure remains the same.

Negatives

WILL + NOT

I

will not = won’t

go

to school tomorrow.

You

will not = won’t

get

to know me better.

He

will not = won’t

learn

how to ski.

She

will not = won’t

climb

that mountain.

It

will not = won’t

fall

down.

We

will not = won’t

be

happy forever.

You

will not = won’t

meet

a lot of great teachers.

They

will not = won’t

pass

this exam.

We form negatives in Future Simple by adding NOT to WILL. The rest of the structure remains the same.

Usage

We use Future Simple when talking about:

  1. future actions planned spontaneously, at the moment of speaking

eg ‘What are your plans for tonight?’ ‘I’m not sure really, I think I will go to the cinema’.

  1. predictions, beliefs, hopes (not based on specific evidence)

eg I hope he will come. / I think it will rain tomorrow.

  1. promises, warnings

eg I promise I will be home by 12.

If you don’t come home, I will change the locks!

  1. actions planned for the future, without being specific when they will happen

eg We will get married one day.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Future Simple:

tomorrow

the day after tomorrow

next (week / month etc.)

tonight

soon

in a (week / month / year etc.)

Past Perfect Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

HAD + BEEN + -ING

I

had

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours before you came.

You

had

been

waiting

for us for an hour before you realised you got the day wrong.

He

had

been

speaking

to them for an hour before he realised it wasn’t their fault.

She

had

been

dancing

for 2 hours, that’s why her legs ached so much.

It

had

been

raining

a lot before summer came.

We

had

been

discussing

this matter for 2 days before he decided to drop the case.

You

had

been

arguing

for a while before you heard my point.

They

had

been

working

here for years before they were fired.

We form positive sentences in Past Perfect Continuous by using HAD plus BEEN plus we add the -ing ending to the main verb.

Questions

INVERSION

Had

I

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours before you came?

Had

you

been

waiting

for us for an hour before you realised you got the day wrong?

Had

he

been

speaking

to them for an hour before he realised it wasn’t their fault?

Had

she

been

dancing

for 2 hours, that’s why her legs ached so much?

Had

it

been

raining

a lot before summer came?

Had

we

been

discussing

this matter for 2 days before he decided to drop the case?

Had

you

been

arguing

for a while before you heard my point?

Had

they

been

working

here for years before they were fired?

We form questions in Past Perfect Continuous by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word HAD swaps places with the pronoun = > I had … becomes Had I …? The rest of the structure (been + -ing ending) remains the same.

Negatives

HAD + NOT 

I

had not = hadn’t

been

writing

this essay for 5 hours before you came.

You

had not = hadn’t

been

waiting

for us for an hour before you realised you got the day wrong.

He

had not = hadn’t

been

speaking

to them for an hour before he realised it wasn’t their fault.

She

had not = hadn’t

been

dancing

for 2 hours, that’s why her legs ached so much.

It

had not = hadn’t

been

raining

a lot before summer came.

We

had not = hadn’t

been

discussing

this matter for 2 days before he decided to drop the case.

You

had not = hadn’t

been

arguing

for a while before you heard my point.

They

had not = hadn’t

been

working

here for years before they were fired.

We form negatives in Past Perfect Continuous by adding NOT to HAD. The rest of the structure (been + -ing ending) remains the same.

Usage

We use Past Perfect Continuous when talking about:

  1. actions completed in the past and having visible results in the past, especially when we want to express the cause for the past situation

eg I had been cooking dinner. (→ It smelled of fried onion).

She had been running. (→ She was tired).

  1. actions that were happening in the past before another action happened in the past, to emphasize the duration of the first action.

eg I had been waiting for an hour before you arrived!

Extra

This is not the easiest concept to get your head around. Fortunately, we teach this to students with a higher level of English who already have a good understanding of English grammar so don’t worry.

Time expressions mostly associated with Past Perfect Continuous are the same as the ones typical for Past Perfect (both express actions that happened or were happening before another action in the past):

before

after

Future Simple

Structure

Positive sentences

WILL + INFINITVE 

I

will

go

to school tomorrow.

You

will

get

to know me better.

He

will

learn

how to ski.

She

will

climb

that mountain.

It

will

fall

down.

We

will

be

happy forever.

You

will

meet

a lot of great teachers.

They

will

pass

this exam.

We form positive sentences in Future Simple by using WILL plus the infinitive of the verb. The structure is the same for every pronoun.

Questions

INVERSION

Will

I

go

to school tomorrow?

Will

you

get

to know me better?

Will

he

learn

how to ski?

Will

she

climb

that mountain?

Will

it

fall

down?

Will

we

be

happy forever?

Will

you

meet

a lot of great teachers?

Will

they

pass

this exam?

We form questions in Future Simple by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word WILL swaps places with the pronoun = > I will … becomes Will I …? The rest of the structure remains the same.

Negatives

WILL + NOT

I

will not = won’t

go

to school tomorrow.

You

will not = won’t

get

to know me better.

He

will not = won’t

learn

how to ski.

She

will not = won’t

climb

that mountain.

It

will not = won’t

fall

down.

We

will not = won’t

be

happy forever.

You

will not = won’t

meet

a lot of great teachers.

They

will not = won’t

pass

this exam.

We form negatives in Future Simple by adding NOT to WILL. The rest of the structure remains the same.

Usage

We use Future Simple when talking about:

  1. future actions planned spontaneously, at the moment of speaking

eg ‘What are your plans for tonight?’ ‘I’m not sure really, I think I will go to the cinema’.

  1. predictions, beliefs, hopes (not based on specific evidence)

eg I hope he will come. / I think it will rain tomorrow.

  1. promises, warnings

eg I promise I will be home by 12.

If you don’t come home, I will change the locks!

  1. actions planned for the future, without being specific when they will happen

eg We will get married one day.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Future Simple:

tomorrow

the day after tomorrow

next (week / month etc.)

tonight

soon

in a (week / month / year etc.)

Future Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

WILL + BE + -ING 

I

will

be

reading

this book.

You

will

be

sitting

on the sofa.

He

will

be

playing

the piano.

She

will

be

making

dinner.

It

will

be

raining

tomorrow.

We

will

be

laughing

at her.

You

will

be

learning

English.

They

will

be

listening

to music.

We form positive sentences in Future Continuous by using WILL plus BE and by adding the -ING ending to the verb. The structure looks the same for all the pronouns.

Questions

INVERSION

Will

I

 

be

reading

this book?

Will

you

 

be

sitting

on the sofa?

Will

he

 

be

playing

the piano?

Will

she

 

be

making

dinner?

Will

it

 

be

raining

tomorrow?

Will

we

 

be

laughing

at her?

Will

you

 

be

learning

English?

Will

they

 

be

listening

to music?

We form questions in Future Continuous by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the verb WILL swaps places with the pronoun = > I will … becomes Will I …?

The rest of the structure remains the same.

Negatives

WILL + NOT

I

will not = won’t

be

reading

this book..

You

will not = won’t

be

sitting

on the sofa.

He

will not = won’t

be

playing

the piano.

She

will not = won’t

be

making

dinner.

It

will not = won’t

be

raining

tomorrow.

We

will not = won’t

be

laughing

at her.

You

will not = won’t

be

learning

English.

They

will not = won’t

be

listening

to music.

We form negatives in Future Continuous by adding NOT to the verb WILL. The rest of the structure remains the same.

Usage

We use Future Continuous when talking about:

  1. actions in progress at a certain time in the future

eg This time tomorrow I will be taking my driving test.

  1. future arrangements (already planned), instead of Present Continuous

eg I will be going to Leeds this weekend.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Future Continuous are the same as the ones associated with Future Simple:

tomorrow

the day after tomorrow

next (week / month etc.)

tonight

soon

in a (week / month / year etc.)

Future Perfect

Structure

Positive sentences

WILL + HAVE + III

I

will

have

spoken

to him…

You

will

have

seen

her…

He

will

have

contacted

me…

She

will

have

painted

the room…

It

will

have

finished

playing…

We

will

have

argued

3 times…

You

will

have

lived

in Cardiff…

They

will

have

been

teachers…

We form positive sentences in Future Perfect by using WILL plus HAVE plus the verb in the 3rd form. The structure looks the same for all pronouns.

Questions

INVERSION

Will

I

have

spoken

to him…?

Will

you

have

seen

her…?

Will

he

have

contacted

me…?

Will

she

have

painted

the room…?

Will

it

have

finished

playing…?

Will

we

have

argued

3 times…?

Will

you

have

lived

in Cardiff…?

Will

they

have

been

teachers…?

We form questions in Future Perfect by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word WILL swaps places with the pronoun = > I will … becomes Will I …?

The rest of the structure remains the same.

Negatives

WILL + NOT

I

will not = won’t

have

spoken

to him…

You

will not = won’t

have

seen

her…

He

will not = won’t

have

contacted

me…

She

will not = won’t

have

painted

the room…

It

will not = won’t

have

finished

playing…

We

will not = won’t

have

argued

3 times…

You

will not = won’t

have

lived

in Cardiff…

They

will not = won’t

have

been

teachers…

We form negatives in Future Perfect by adding NOT to WILL. The rest of the structure remains the same.

Usage

We use Future Perfect when talking about:

  1. actions planned to take place by a certain point in the future

eg I will have read this chapter by tomorrow morning.

  1. ‘anniversaries’ at a certain point in the future

eg Next month they will have been married for 10 years.

Extra

Time expressions mostly associated with Future Perfect:

by

before

until

Future Perfect Continuous

Structure

Positive sentences

WILL + HAVE + BEEN + -ING

I

will

have

been

writing

this essay…

You

will

have

been

waiting

for us…

He

will

have

been

speaking

to them…

She

will

have

been

dancing

here…

It

will

have

been

standing

there…

We

will

have

been

discussing

this matter…

You

will

have

been

arguing

with her…

They

will

have

been

working

here…

We form positive sentences in Future Perfect Continuous by using WILL + HAVE + BEEN plus we add the -ing ending to the main verb.

Questions

INVERSION

Will

I

have

been

writing

this essay…?

Will

you

have

been

waiting

for us…?

Will

he

have

been

speaking

to them…?

Will

she

have

been

dancing

here…?

Will

it

have

been

standing

there…?

Will

we

have

been

discussing

this matter…?

Will

you

have

been

arguing

with her…?

Will

they

have

been

working

here…?

We form questions in Future Perfect Continuous by means of inversion, that is by reversing the word order. In this case, the word WILL swaps places with the pronoun = > I will … becomes Will I …? The rest of the structure (have + been + -ing ending) remains the same.

Negatives

WILL + NOT

 

I

will not = won’t

have

been

writing

this essay…

You

will not = won’t

have

been

waiting

for us…

He

will not = won’t

have

been

speaking

to them…

She

will not = won’t

have

been

dancing

here…

It

will not = won’t

have

been

standing

there…

We

will not = won’t

have

been

discussing

this matter…

You

will not = won’t

have

been

arguing

with her…

They

will not = won’t

have

been

working

here…

We form negatives in Future Perfect Continuous by adding NOT to WILL. The rest of the structure (have + been + -ing ending) remains the same.

Usage

We use Future Perfect Continuous when talking about:

  1. the duration of an action at a certain point in the future

eg By next Monday we will have been renovating this house for 3 months.