When to use the Futur Antérieur: the Ultimate Guide in 2021

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In this French grammar lesson we will learn about when to use the futur antérieur.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • when to use the futur antérieur
  • how the futur antérieur is used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on when to use the futur antérieur
  • how you can download the Anki files for when to use the futur antérieur

Please refer to the French B2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French B2.

Please also read how to form the futur antérieur, to find out how you can form it.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about when to use the futur antérieur!

Table of Contents

When to use the Futur Antérieur

You will use the futur antérieur to express that an action will happen, or be completed, before another action in the future.

Sometimes this is also called “the past of the future”.

Please have a look at the following sentence.

finir

Quand j’aurai fini mes études, j’habiterai à Paris.

When I will have finished my studies, I will live in Paris.

First you will have to finish your studies, and after that you will live in Paris.

As you can see, the first action uses the futur antérieur, and the second action used the futur simple.

  • first action = futur antérieur
  • second (subsequent) action = futur simple

Here’s another one.

Dès que vous aurez payé, nous commencerons.

As soon as you will have paid, we will begin.

However, just because an action is first, doesn’t mean you will see it in the beginning of the sentence.

finir

Je sortirai quand j’aurai fini mon devoir.

I’ll go out when I will have finished my assignment.

In this example, the futur simple is in the beginning of the sentence, and the futur antérieur is at the end of the sentence.

However, the first chronological action is finishing your assignment.

Only once this is done, can you go out.

So, you will use the futur antérieur “j’aurai fini

You can also use the futur antérieur on its own.

It all depends on the context.

atteindre

Il aura atteint son objectif.

He will have achieved his goal.

This person will have achieved his goal before something else in the future.

What this “something else” is, remains unknown, just by looking at this sentence.

You will need to have the context to know what this “something” is.

être

Vous aurez été capable de peindre.

You will have been able to paint.

In the future something will happen.

But before this “something”, you will have been able to paint.

So, you being able to paint, is before this “something”.

These two examples are given to show you, that you don’t have to use the futur simple, whenever you want to use the futur antérieur.

However, in daily life, the “something” will be understood or given through your conversations.

To conclude, the futur antérieur is used for actions that preceed, or will be completed before, another action in the future.

Example Sentences on When to use the Futur Antérieur

The final section of this lesson on when to use the futur antérieur is about seeing the futur antérieur in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of when to use the futur antérieur through examples.

finir

Quand j’aurai fini mes études, j’habiterai à Paris.

When I will have finished my studies, I will live in Paris.

Dès que vous aurez payé, nous commencerons.

As soon as you will have paid, we will begin.

finir

Je sortirai quand j’aurai fini mon devoir.

I’ll go out when I will have finished my assignment.

atteindre

Il aura atteint son objectif.

He will have achieved his goal.

être

Vous aurez été capable de peindre.

You will have been able to paint.

Test Your Knowledge on When to use the Futur Antérieur

It’s not enough just to read the lesson on this subject.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the test as many times as you want. There’s no limit to it!

Anki File for When to use the Futur Antérieur

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French B2 you can practice every French B2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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