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The Future Perfect in Spanish

Do you know when to use the future perfect in Spanish? Known in Spanish as the futuro compuesto or antefuturo, the future perfect tense in Spanish works very similarly to its English counterpart to speak about things that "will have" happened at a given point of time in the future. However, despite its name, it can also be used to describe or ask about things that "must" or "would have" happened in the past! Let's take a look at how to conjugate the future perfect in Spanish as well examples of these usages.



How to Conjugate the Future Perfect Tense in Spanish

Just like the Spanish present perfect tense, which is used to express things one "has done" in utterances like Yo he comido (I have eaten), the future perfect in Spanish employs the verb haber (an auxiliary, or helping, verb that means "have") plus the past participle (whose regular forms end in -ado or -ido and correspond to English participles ending in -ed or -en such as "danced," "taken," etc.). However, in contrast to the present perfect, where haber is conjugated in the present tense, the future perfect in Spanish employs the future tense of this verb. With this in mind, let's see the formula for conjugating the future perfect in Spanish:


Future tense of haber + past participle 


Now, let's look at the future tense conjugations of the verb haber then hear how they are pronounced: 

Personal Pronoun: Future Conjugation of Haber:
yo  habré (I will have)
tú  habrás (you will have)
él/ella/usted  habrá (he/she/you will have)
nosotros/as habremos (we will have)
vosotros/as  habréis (you will have)
ellos/ellas/ustedes habrán (they/you will have)


Habré, habrás, habrá, habremos, habréis, habrán.

I will haveyou will havehe/she/you will havewe will have, you all will havethey/you all will have.

Caption 81, Escuela BCNLIP - Clase con Javi: el futuro

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And finally, we will examine some examples of this formula in action:


ya que entonces el hechizo habrá terminado.

because then the spell will have finished.

Caption 56, Cuentos de hadas - Cenicienta

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Habréis visto que sobre la mesa tengo también un trozo de limón.

You'll have seen that on the table, I also have a piece of lemon.

Captions 33-34, Soledad - Ensalada de alcachofa

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You may have noticed that, as we indicated in the introduction, while the first example refers to something that "will happen" in the future, the second describes something that the speaker's audience probably saw in the past! Let's examine more closely these two different ways to employ the future perfect tense in Spanish. 


Using the Future Perfect in Spanish to Talk About the Future

The following examples illustrate the use of the Spanish future perfect tense to describe what "will have" happened in the future, which the context indicates quite clearly:


todavía estará más bueno,

it will be even better

ya que habrá cogido más cuerpo y más sabor.

since it will have gotten more body and more flavor.

Captions 69-70, Fermín - Ensalada de tomate

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Dentro de cinco años, los ingenieros habrán terminado de construir el puente. 

Within five years, the engineers will have finished building the bridge. 


Para el año 2030, yo habré ahorrado mucho dinero. 

By the year 2030, I will have saved a lot of money. 


Using the Future Perfect in Spanish to Talk About the Past

Let's conclude by looking at examples of the future perfect tense in Spanish that depict what "will" or "must" have happened in the past or speculate about what "would" or "could have" taken place:


Si pusieron atención,

If you paid attention,

se habrán dado cuenta que Kevin y Leo, que son hermanos,

you will have noticed that Kevin and Leo, who are brothers,

Captions 50-51, Carlos comenta - Los Años Maravillosos - Forma de hablar

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Bueno, querido, pero algo habrás hecho.

Well, dear, but you must have done something.

Caption 25, Muñeca Brava - 39 Verdades - Part 4

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¿Lo buscó bien?

Did you look for him well?

Lo buscó... -¿Pero dónde se habrá ido?

You looked for him... -But where would he have gone?

Caption 36, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 3

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Although the translations for each of these examples vary slightly, what they all have in common is the fact that the action being described requires an educated guess about something that has already happened. 


That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand when to use future perfect in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments


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