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    #1

    would have done/would have been doing to talk about future?

    I have been wondering for some time if it is possible to use Future Perfect /Future Perfect Continuous to talk about the future or if not than what construction might be used instead. My line of thinking is this:

    - if we wish to say that at some moment some activity or state is in continuation for some time we use Perfect construction (if I am not mistaken)
    e.g. When she came, I had been watching the match for 30 minutes already.
    I have been watching the match for 30 min. now.
    I will have been watching the match for 30 min when you come.

    If we wish to say that the situation is only a hypothetical variant which did not, does not, will not happen, we should use the -in-the-Past versions of the above?

    It is pretty obvious for all known authors of grammar books to recommend the construction would have done/would have been doing to talk about a past situation that did not take place but what about of the present and the future?

    For example, one may find in grammar books sentences like: "We will have been married for 10 years tomorrow." but what if it is only a hypothetical statement, e.g. If you had listened to my advice back then, tomorrow you and Kate would have been married for 10 years.

    I know a native speaker who disqualifies such sentences but he can not give me an alternative. In conditional sentences it is possible to use "would do/would be doing" to talk about the future, why not Future Perfect in the Past, then?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 28-Jul-2015 at 20:05. Reason: Separated the paragraphs to make it more readable

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: would have done/would have been doing to talk about future?

    Quote Originally Posted by coleridgest View Post
    For example, one may find in grammar books sentences like: "We will have been married for 10 years tomorrow." but what if it is only a hypothetical statement, e.g. If you had listened to my advice back then, tomorrow you and Kate would have been married for 10 years.
    Your sentence is fine.

    If you had asked another question, I would have answered it tomorrow. I wouldn't have answered it now, because I am going to bed.

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    #3

    Re: would have done/would have been doing to talk about future?

    My opinion on this may be seen as mistaken or, at least, less reliable than that of other members who are teachers. Still, I think I should try and express it.

    I think that the perfective aspect is also called retrospective because it gives the opportunity to look back, as it were, from some point in time; and hence is the name. This point may be in the future as well:

    We'll meet again next Thursday. We could have finished the task by then.


    Not a teacher.
    Last edited by Weaver67; 29-Jul-2015 at 08:53.

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    #4

    Re: would have done/would have been doing to talk about future?

    Thank you immensely for your prompt answers - they have cleared my thoughts considerably.

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