The German Future Tense - Futur 2


Future Tense 2 - The Past in the Future

In German, the future tense 2 (Futur 2) is used when talking about what will have happened in the future.


Wenn Sie nachher mit dem Lesen fertig sind, werden Sie bereits einiges dazugelernt haben. - When you finish reading this article, you will already have learned something new.

However, the future tense 2 is an awkward grammatical tense rarely used in real life. Mostly, it is used for assumptions, even when talking about the present.


1) You are trying to call your brother Dieter at midnight but he doesn't pick up. You say to your husband:

"Dieter wird sich schon hingelegt haben." - "Dieter is probably asleep already."
(This is about the present.)

2) You are a scientist and think you have finally found the experiment that is going to tell you what you need to know. Tomorrow the experiment will be over. You say to your colleagues:

"Morgen abend werden wir bereits herausgefunden haben, wonach wir seit Jahren gesucht haben!"
- "Tomorrow night we will have found out what we have been looking for for years."
(This is about the future - about tomorrow night.)

How to Use the Future Tense 2

As you saw, the future tense 2 always consists of several parts.

Part 1: simple present of "werden" (Er wird...)

Part 2: past participle (Er wird sich schon hingelegt...)

Part 3: infinitive of haben or sein (Er wird sich schon hingelegt haben.)

Parts 2 and 3 always stay together (hingelegt haben, gegangen sein). Other than that, the rule is that Part 1 (present tense of "werden") immediately follows the person doing the action (Er wird...), while Part 2 and 3 stand at the end of the sentence ("Er wird sich wahscheinlich noch nicht damit beschäftigt haben).


Du wirst ihn schon einmal gesehen haben. - You have probably seen him before.
Wir werden es morgen abend herausgefunden haben. - We will have found out by tomorrow night.
Ihr werdet euch schon wieder beruhigt haben. - You have probably calmed down by now.

However, if a relative clause follows ("...was sie schon immer wissen wollten." - "...what you always wanted to know." or "...dass sie nicht anders kann." - "that she can't help it."), Part 1, 2, and 3 stay together.


Sie werden herausgefunden haben, was sie schon immer wissen wollten. - They will have found out what they had always wanted to know.
Er wird eingesehen haben, dass sie nicht anders kann. - He must know by now that she can't help it.

If the future tense 2 appears in a question, Part 1 stands at the beginning, Part 2 is the second to last, and Part 3 the last word.


Werden die Kinder schon gegessen haben? - Do you think the kids have already eaten?
Wird das Konzert schon angefangen haben? - Do you think the concert has started already?
Wird der Mond dann schon aufgegangen sein? - Do you think the moon is up yet?

If the question contains other question words like "Wann?" (when), "Wohin?" (where to) or "Woher?" (how), the question word begins the question, and the rest stays the same.


Wann werden die Kinder gegessen haben? - When do you think the kids ate?
Wohin werden Sie gegangen sein? - Where do you think they went?
Woher wird er gekommen sein? - Where do you think he came from?

However, as this form is rather complex, it is rarely used it real life.

But after you have read this article, I am sure the most important information about the German future tense 2 will have stuck in your head.

Learn how to differentiate between German verb types in order to conjugate all of them correctly! Read:
Strong, Weak, and Mixed Verbs in German. For a list of all German verbs and their conjugation click here: German Verbs