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    will arrive vs. will have arrived

    Dear teachers,

    I need your explanation of the difference between the following pairs of sentences:

    I will arrive home by 5 pm.
    I will have arrived home by 5 pm.

    He will finish the essay by Friday. (= ?)
    He will have finished the essay by Friday. (= emphasizes the essay will be completed)

    She will cook by the time he gets home. (= she will start cooking before he gets back ?)
    She will have cooked by the time he gets home. (= the meal will be ready?)

    Thank you very much

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    Re: will arrive vs. will have arrived

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Katka:

    I am not answering your questions, but I do have some information that may interest you:

    One of my favorite books says:

    "In Modern English the future perfect tense has been largely replaced by the simple future tense. Ordinarily a person would say, 'He will finish the work by next Saturday,' instead of 'He will have finished.' "

    --Walter Kay Smart, English Grammar Review (1968).


    Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (1995 edition) also reminds us that the future perfect can "predict the present."

    He gives this example: "It's no use phoning -- he'll have left by now."

    [My note: I think that it is accurate to say that many Americans would prefer to express that idea in an "easier" way: "No use phoning. He has probably left by now / He is probably gone by now."]


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