Futur II – Future Perfect in German Grammar

Introduction

The future perfect (Futur II, vollendete Zukunft) expresses the assumption that an action will have been completed by the time of speaking, or by a particular point in the future.

Master the future perfect tense on Lingolia. Learn the rules for conjugating the future perfect tense and tips on how and when to use. Test your German grammar skills in the exercises.

Example

  • Warum baut Matthias sein Fahrrad auseinander?
  • Er wird wohl gestürzt sein oder eine Panne gehabt haben.
  • Oh nein, wir wollen in einer Stunde eine Radtour machen.
  • Keine Angst! Bis dahin wird er das Fahrrad repariert haben.
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Usage

We use the future perfect to express:

  • an assumption about an action in the past
    Example:
    Er wird wohl gestürzt sein.He will probably have fallen.
    Er wird eine Panne gehabt haben.He will have had a breakdown.
  • an assumption that an action will have been completed by a certain point in the future (you always need an indication of the specific time here, so you know you’re talking about the future)
    Example:
    Bis dahin wird er das Fahrrad repariert haben.By that point, he will have repaired the bicycle.

To Note:

We often strengthen assumptions by using words such as: wohl, sicher, bestimmt.likely/probably, surely, certainly

Example:
Er wird wohl gestürzt sein.He will likely have fallen.
Er wird wohl eine Panne gehabt haben.He will probably have had a breakdown.

Conjugation of German Verbs in Future Perfect

To conjugate verbs in the future perfect tense, we need the finite form of werden, the past participle of the full verb, and the auxiliary verbs sein/haben.

personform of “werden”full verb + sein/haben
1st person singular (ich) ich werde gegangen sein
aufgewacht sein
gelesen haben
gedacht haben
2nd person singular (du) du wirst
3rd person singular (er/sie/es/man) er wird
1st person plural (wir) wir werden
2nd person plural (ihr) ihr werdet
3rd person plural/polite form (sie/Sie) sie werden

Past Participle

The past participle (Partizip II) is formed in two different ways depending on whether we are conjugating a strong verb (ge…en) or a weak/mixed verb (ge…t).

typeconjugation
weak ge…t lernen – gelernt
strong ge…en sehen – gesehen
mixed ge…t denken – gedacht

Exceptions

  • Many strong and mixed verbs change their stem in the past participle. (see list of strong and mixed verbs)
    Example:
    gehen – gegangen, bringen – gebrachtto go – gone, to bring – brought
  • If the word stem ends in d/t, we add an -et to weak and mixed verbs.
    Example:
    warten – gewartetto wait – waited
  • Verbs that end in -ieren form the past participle without ge.
    Example:
    studieren – studiertto study – studied
  • Inseparable verbs form the past participle without ge.
    Example:
    verstehen – verstandento understand – understood
  • With separable verbs, ge goes after the prefix. (see separable and inseparable verbs)
    Example:
    ankommen – angekommento arrive – arrived