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The Future Perfect Continuous Tense (Passive Voice)

1. Review: the future perfect continuous tense

The future perfect continuous tense is used for:

  • saying how long an event will have been happening at a future time.
  • giving a reason for a state in the future.

The future perfect continuous tense is made by:

  • subject + will have been …ing
  • subject + (be) going to have been …ing

* subject + (be) going to have been …ing is very rarely used.

If the future continuous tense explains how long an action will have been happening at a future time, the structure is:

  • subject + future continuous tense + duration + future time
SubjectFuture continuous tense
(will have been …ing)
DurationFuture timeExample sentence
Iwill have been workingfor 43 yearsby the time I retireI will have been working at this company for 43 years by the time I retire.
the teamswill have been playingfor 20 minutesby the time we get thereThe teams will have been playing for 20 minutes by the time we get there.

If the future continuous tense explains why a state will happen at a future time, the structure is:

  • subject + future state + future time + because + subject + future continuous tense
SubjectFuture stateFuture timeBecauseSubjectFuture continuous tense
(will have been …ing)
Example sentence
shewill be tiredwhen I see herbecauseshewill have been looking after the kidsI think she will tired when I see her because she will have been looking after the kids all day.
Mr. Michaelswill be happywhen he gets homebecausehewill have been listening to his new musicMr Michaels will be happy when he gets home tonight because he will have been listening to his new music on the train.

2. What is the passive voice?

The passive voice changes ‘x did something to y’ into ‘y has something done to it (by x)’.

It is made by:

  • object + be + perfect participle (+ by subject)

*Perfect participle (p.p.) = gone, done, seen, eaten etc.

‘Be’ changes depending on the tense you want to use (present, past, future, perfect, etc.).

3. The future perfect continuous tense (passive voice)

The future perfect continuous (passive) uses the structures:

  • object + will + have been being + perfect participle (p.p.) (by subject)
  • object + (be) going to + have been being + p.p. (by subject)

* Using ‘will’ is more common than ‘(be) going to’.

ObjectWillHave been beingP.p.(By subject)Example sentence
the muralwillhave been beingpaintedAt 4pm the mural will have been being painted for 5 hours and should look magnificant.
the forestwillhave been beingcut downby gold mining companiesWe need environmental laws: next month will mark the 5th year that the forest will have been being cut down by gold mining companies.
the bookwillhave been beingreadby students in this districtThis year will be the 25th year that the book will have been being read by students in this district.
Come the end of November, the factory will have been being managed by Mr Jones for exactly one year.The crowd are already unhappy. By the time the final whistle goes, the team will have been being booed for over an hour.
Next week celebrates the fifth year that children will have been being trained here.I will probably look rather tired when I see you because I will have been being shouted at by my boss for 5 hours straight.
The soup will have been being stirred for an hour by the time it is ready to serve.The two countries expect the trade deal to be signed next week, by which time companies will have been being taxed 25% extra for six months.

4. Converting a future perfect continuous tense into its passive voice

To change a future continuous tense into its passive form:

1. swap the subject and object
2. change ‘will have been …ing’ into ‘will have been being + p.p.’
or change ‘(be) going to have been …ing’ into ‘(be) going to have been being + p.p.’

Future perfect continuousFuture perfect continuous (passive)
By the end of the year, this school will have been teaching classes for 20 years.By the end of this year, classes will have been being taught by this school for 20 years.
By the end of the year the class will have been reading this book for 6 monthsBy the end of the year this book will have been being read by the class for 6 months.
They will have been painting houses in this town for 5 years by the end of this yearHouses will have been being painted by them in this town for 5 years by the end of this year.
This time next week the team will have been working on the project for ten years.This time next week the project will have been being worked on by the team for ten years.

5. Avoiding the future perfect continuous (passive)

The passive voice of the future perfect continuous tense is one of the longest tense forms in English. It is seldom used. This is because:

  • it is awkward to say and write
  • other tenses can do similar jobs

Other tenses that can do similar jobs

– If you want to say something will be true, use the future perfect (passive).
– If you want to emphasise the action (…ing), don’t use a passive voice.

Future perfect continuous (passive)Future perfect
(passive)
Future perfect continuous (active)
The soup will have been being stirred for an hour by the time it is ready to serve.The soup will have been stirred for an hour by the time it is ready to serve.The chef will have been stirring the soup for an hour by the time it is ready to serve.
The house will have been being painted for three days when the owners come back.The house will have been painted for three days when the owners come back. The painters will have been painting the house for three days when the owners come back.
The gym will have been being investigated for fraud for three months by the time the owner goes on trial for assault.The gym will have been investigated for fraud for three months by the time the owner goes on trial for assault.Police will have been investigating the gym for fraud for three months by the time the owner goes on trial for assault.

6. Test yourself

Click here to test your knowledge of this grammar point.

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