The future perfect tense is used to predict or suppose actions that are going to be completed by a point in time in the future. Have you ever been stressed with exams or deadlines and dreamed about the day you are finally done with everything? That’s when you use the future perfect! Para el martes, por fin habré acabado los exámenes (By Tuesday, I will have finished with exams). Let’s dive into the future perfect!
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How to form the future perfect in Spanish
The future perfect is formed with these two components:
1. First, you need the verb haber in the future.
|Person||Haber in the future|
|tú / vos||habrás|
*vosotros is only used in Spain
2. Second, we need the main verb in the past participle (hablado (talked), comido (eaten), vivido (lived)).
Take a look at this table we created if you need to go over how to form the past participle in Spanish.
Now let’s explore some examples with the future perfect:
Para el final del verano, yo habré bailado bajo la lluvia.
By the end of the summer, I will have danced under the rain.
Para enero, mi hermano habrá terminado la carrera.
By January, my brother will have finished his degree.
As observed, we added para… (by) because with the future perfect we express that you will have completed the action by a time in the future.
When do you use the future perfect tense in Spanish?
We use the future perfect in two contexts: to suppose the past of the future or to hypothesize about past events. Let’s get into it!
We can suppose the “past of the future”
First, we use the future perfect to make suppositions about the “past of the future.” That is, with this tense we can express what will have been completed (will be past) by a time in the future. That means that we place ourselves in a point in the future and we use it to express what will have been done by that time.
Let’s take a look at some examples. Imagine that Juan’s parents are out for the weekend and his parents give him a list of things to do by Sunday. Juan’s mother calls him and asks if he has already done all the house chores:
–Juan, ¿has pasado ya la aspiradora, has limpiado los platos, y has planchado la ropa?
Juan, have you already vacuumed, have you washed dishes, and have you ironed the clothes?
–No, pero para el domingo, habré pasado la aspiradora, habré limpiado los platos, y habré planchado la ropa.
No, but by Sunday, I will have vacuumed the carpet, I will have washed the dishes, and I will have ironed the clothes.
Did you notice the use of the future perfect? Juan places himself on Sunday (in the future) and he uses this tense to express that all his chores will have been done by this time in the future (the past of the future 😲).
|El jueves, ya habré terminado los exámenes.||On Thursday, I will have already finished all my exams.|
|Para el domingo, habré enviado mi ensayo.||By Sunday, I will have sent my paper.|
|Para cuando termine el año, me habré graduado.||By the end of the year, I will have graduated.|
|Dentro de un año, habremos abierto el restaurante.||Within a year, we will have opened our restaurant.|
We can express supposition about past events
Second, we can also use this tense to make suppositions about something that happened before a point in the present.
If we talk about something that happened in the past that we know about and we are sure it happened we say:
However, if we want to make a supposition about this past event, we need to use the future perfect:
She might have lost her computer.
Notice that in English, the equivalent of these expressions is a past tense verb with expressions like “probably,” “I suppose,” or “I guess.”
This use of supposing the past can also be expressed with the preterite or present perfect verbs and an expression of supposition like quizás (perhaps) or a lo mejor (maybe).
Or with the subjunctive:
Es posible que se hayan ido a penalties.
It’s possible that they have gone to penalty kicks.
Take a look at our post if you want to know more on how to use the Spanish subjunctive!
To sum up
In this post we went over how to form the future perfect by using the future of haber + past participle. We also saw that the future perfect is used to talk about a completed event by a point in the future. And, we saw that we can use this tense to make a supposition about a past event.
Do you want to practice? Try out this exercise on the Spanish future perfect we created for you! Enjoy!