Languages › Italian The Future Perfect Tense in Italian How to Use Il Futuro Anteriore in Italian Share Flipboard Email Print Tourists entering Corso Umberto, the main street in Taormina at sunset. Matthew Williams-Ellis / robertharding / Getty Images Italian Vocabulary History & Culture Grammar By Michael San Filippo Italian Expert M.A., Italian Studies, Middlebury College B.A., Biology, Northeastern University Michael San Filippo co-wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. He is a tutor of Italian language and culture. our editorial process Michael San Filippo Updated July 16, 2017 “In two years, I will have learned Italian.” How do you express a sentence like that in Italian? You use a tense called il futuro anteriore, or the future perfect tense in English. You’ll notice that it looks similar to the il futuro semplice, the simple future tense, but has an extra addition. Here’s what that sentence above will look like: Fra due anni, sarò riuscito/a ad imparare l’italiano. If you’re familiar with the future tense, you’ll notice the “sarò”, which is the first person conjugation of the verb “essere - to be”. Immediately after, you’ll see another verb “riuscire - to succeed at/to be able to” in a past participle form. (If you’re not sure a past participle is, take a look at this article. It’s basically just the form a verb changes to when you need to talk about something that happened in the past. Other examples you might recognize are “mangiato” for the verb “mangiare” and “vissuto” for the verb “vivere”.) I’ll give you a few examples first and then we’ll break down how you can start forming and using the futuro anteriore. Esempi Alle sette avremo già mangiato. - By seven we'll already have eaten.Noi avremo parlato al padre di Anna. - We will already have spoken to Anna's father.Marco non è venuto alla festa, sarà stato molto impegnato. - Marco didn’t come to the party, he must have been very busy. When to Use It Typically you’ll use this verb tense when you’re talking about an action in the future (like you having already eaten) before something else happens (like it being 7 PM). You can also use it when you’re unsure about something that’s happening in the future or that happened in the past, like you thinking that the reason Marco didn’t come to the party was because he was busy. In this case, other words that you could use instead of forming the futuro anteriore would be “forse - maybe”, “magari - maybe” or “probabilmente - probably”. How to Form the Futuro Anteriore As you saw above, the futuro anteriore is created when you combine a future tense conjugation (like sarò) with a past participle (like riuscito), which makes it a compound tense. To be more specific though (and easier on you), there are only two verbs that you can use in the future tense conjugation spot, and they are the auxiliary verbs avere or essere. Take a look at the two tables below that show you the future tense conjugations for the verbs “essere - to be” and “avere - to have”. Essere - To Be Sarò - I will be Saremo - We will be Sarai - You will be Sarete - You all will be Sarà - He/she/it will be Saranno - They will be Avere - To Have Avrò - I will have Avremo - We will have Avrai - You will have Avrete - You all will have Avrà - He/she/it will have Avranno - They will have How Do You Choose Between “Essere” and “Avere”?| When you’re deciding which auxiliary verb to use -- either “essere” or “avere” -- you use the same logic as you would when you’re choosing “essere” or “avere” with the passato prossimo tense. So, as a quick reminder, reflexive verbs, like "sedersi - to sit oneself", and most verbs that are related to mobility, like “andare - to go”, “uscire - to go out”, or “partire - to leave”, will be paired with “essere”. Most other verbs, like “mangiare - to eat”, “usare - to use”, and “vedere - to look”, will be paired with “avere”. Andare - To Go Sarò andato/a - I will have gone Saremo andati/e - We will have gone Sarai andato/a - You will have gone Sarete andati/e - You (all) will have gone Sarà andato/a - He/she/it will have gone Saranno andati/e - They will have gone Mangiare - To Eat Avrò mangiato - I will have eaten Avremo mangiato - We will have eaten Avrai mangiato - You will have eaten Avrete mangiato - You (all) will have eaten Avrà mangiato - He/she/it will have eaten Avranno mangiato - They will have eaten Esempi Quando avrò finito questo piatto, verrò da te. - When I will have finished this dish, I will go to your place.Sarai stata felicissima quando hai ottenuto la promozione! - You must have been/I imagine you were happy when you got the promotion!Appena avrò guardato questo film, te lo darò. - As soon as I have watched this movie, I will give it to you.Riuscirai a parlare l’italiano fluentemente quando avrai fatto molta pratica. - You will succeed at speaking Italian fluently when you will have practiced it a lot.Appena ci saremo sposati, compreremo una casa. - As soon as we are married, we will buy a house. 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