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Autor:  Tiago T.
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  01/ABR/2018 5:26 PM
Assunto:  Future Perfect Vs. future continous
 
Mensagem: 
Hello there,

I understand what you are saying and I realize now that I may have overlooked some points in my answer. So let me try a different approach on this.

When you use the Future Perfect tense, you are basically looking back from a certain point in the future. It is almost as if you got yourself a time machine and traveled 50 years into the future. From that point, you would look back at the past and reflect on what happened:

• "We have developed technology to create organ replacements with 3D printers."

But since we are speaking from the present, we have to project that reflection onto the future using Future Perfect:

• Fifty years from now, we will have developed technology to perform organ replacements with 3D printers.

The emphasis is in the past. It is a reflection on what has happened so far. So you are expected to describe an action, fact or situation that could have a deadline, that may be subject to completion. If you are describing an action that you would not normally expect to have an end, then it sounds more natural to state your reflection by specifying a partition of that action, which in turn might accept the concept of deadline or completion. For example:

• Three years from now, we'll have been together for a decade.
• ‎By the time we graduate, we will have studied for 8 years.
• ‎Fifty years from now, we will have created thousands of organ replacements with 3D printers.
• Fifty years from now, we will have created organ replacements for half the population in need.

The extra information provided by the expressions underlined above is very important for the meaning of the sentences in the Future Perfect. They specify the corresponding action in a way that completion may be acceptable when the deadline is reached. Without these expressions, the sentences become weird because we would be making a past reflection on an action that is not self-contained, that is not expected to have completion. For example:

• Three years from now, we'll have been together.
• ‎By the time we graduate, we will have studied.
• ‎Fifty years from now, we will have created organ replacements.

The actions "to be together", "to study" and "to create organ replacements" are expected to happen for a long time or to be repeated several times. People will always get sick, so creating artificial organs will probably be needed for as long as we can tell. So it becomes odd to emphasize what happened in the past without making clear that just a specific part of the goal was reached.

That being said, we have to remember that language is often subject to interpretation and that listeners may imply meaning that is not clearly stated in words. So a listener that takes the context into account may of course interpret the following two sentences in the same way, making assumptions about the facts that are not precisely stated:

• Fifty years from now, we will have developed technology to create organ replacements with 3D printers.
• ‎Fifty years from now, we will have created organ replacements with 3D printers.

But since we are trying to use language as precisely as possible, I still think that the second sentence is not the best example of accuracy on the usage of the Future Perfect.

Just a final disclaimer: I am not a native speaker of English and I agree with you that having the input of a native would be interesting because we are discussing a very subtle interpretation issue. Interestingly enough, though, English and Portuguese do not seem so different in this particular aspect after all.

Regards,
Tiago


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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Future Perfect Vs. Future perfect continuous  –  Kroc is Loco  26/MAR/2018, 9:14 PM
Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Kroc is Loco  26/MAR/2018, 9:17 PM
Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Tiago T.  27/MAR/2018, 12:22 AM
Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Tiago T.  27/MAR/2018, 12:24 AM
Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Kroc is Loco  27/MAR/2018, 11:31 AM
Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Kroc ir Loco  27/MAR/2018, 12:13 PM
 Future Perfect Vs. future continous  –  Tiago T.  01/ABR/2018, 5:26 PM

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