Future tenses – part 2: Futuro compuesto

Grammar: Spanish verbs

Future tenses – part 2:
Futuro compuesto (Future Perfect)

Future Perfect (Futuro compuesto) is used to indicate a future action that will be completed before another action in the future. It’s like a “pluscuamperfecto” analogue for future actions (for example: When you arrive, we will have already finished the renovation). This tense is similar to the Future Perfect in English ( i will have done) and is formed using the auxiliary verb haber in simple future + participio.

Pronoun haber + participio
yo habré estudiado
habrás estudiado
él, ella, usted habrá estudiado
nosotros habremos estudiado
vosotros habréis estudiado
ellos, ustedes habrán estudiado

When to use Futuro compuesto?

Future Perfect is used to express a future action that we expect to be completed by a certain point or before another future action:

  • Maria llega la semana que viene. Para entonces habremos terminado la reforma. Maria will come next week. By that time we will have finished the renovation.

  • ¿Quieres ir el sábado al cine? Seguro que ya habrá salido la pelicula que queremos ver. Do you want to go to the movies on Saturday? Surely, the film that we want to watch will already be released (by then).

Note that sometimes the “precedence” is only implied by the context. The second verb, before which the action will be completed in the future, is not always present in the phrase. Also be aware that the future tense always has a tinge of uncertainty, in the sense of “I expect this to happen”:

  • Para el mes que viene habré comprado el vestido de la boda. By next month I will have bought a wedding dress.

  • Dentro de un año nos habremos mudado a otra ciudad. We will have moved to a different city in a year’s time.

Futuro compuesto can express speculation about the past

As paradoxical as it may seem, this future tense is often used to express assumptions about the past. Read the examples and pay attention to the tenses of the verbs in the English translation:

  • Jose viene tarde. Habrá perdido el bus. Jose is runniung late. He must have missed the bus.

  • Mira que cara de felicidad tiene. Habrá aprobado el examen. Look what a happy face he has. He must have passed the exam.
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