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I would have finished my home work by evening .

He should have been more careful.

Can these be used as future perfect tense ?

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What do you hope to mean with these constructions? Presumably not "I will have finished my homework by evening". There is probably a way to say it in English, but we can't help you if we can't figure out what you're trying to say. – Peter Shor Mar 21 '13 at 14:31
    
@PeterShor OP is saying "I would have finished my home(-)work by evening." as anyone could grammatically say. Where's the problem? – Kris Mar 22 '13 at 6:12
    
@Kris: The problem is that "He should have been more careful tomorrow" doesn't mean anything. This isn't valid English. I'm trying to ask what the OP is trying to say. – Peter Shor Mar 22 '13 at 12:42
    
"Cordelia agreed, hoping she [Beatrice] would have seen all she wanted in fifteen minutes. But Beatrice stayed nearly two hours." - Cordelia is hoping at present about Beatrice's future actions, so it doesn't quite fit the normal usage of 'would have' to refer to something that could have happened in the past, but didn't. It feels to me like a variation on future perfect with added uncertainly: "She would have seen in fifteen minutes" to emphasize the uncertainty of whether the seeing would be in fact perfected and done with in fifteen minutes. What kind of grammatical construction is this?Tnx – Daniel Jul 7 at 1:12
    
Here's another example that I'm not sure about: "Consequently, these people think that long before you got anywhere near the divine point of view the distinction would have disappeared altogether." - it feels to me like future perfect with 'would' instead of 'will'. (the quote is from CS Lewis). Thanks... – Daniel Jul 7 at 4:19

The sentences under discussion are in the conditional perfect. No, they cannot be used as the future perfect, because they are not the future perfect. The word choice defines the tense, and you can't just call it something else. If you had written "I will have finished my homework," that would then be the future perfect.

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"Cordelia agreed, hoping she [Beatrice] would have seen all she wanted in fifteen minutes. But Beatrice stayed nearly two hours." - Cordelia is hoping at present about Beatrice's future actions, so it doesn't quite fit the normal usage of 'would have' to refer to something that could have happened in the past, but didn't. It feels to me like a variation on future perfect with added uncertainly: "She would have seen in fifteen minutes" to emphasize the uncertainty of whether the seeing would be in fact perfected and done with in fifteen minutes. What kind of grammatical construction is this?Tnx – Daniel Jul 7 at 1:13

No, forms like would, should, and could are not used to indicate the simple, unmarked future.

However, because they are fundamentally past-tense forms, they can be used to indicate the future in the past. Compare:

  • I will finish my homework by suppertime.

  • Yesterday I said I would finish my homework by suppertime.

There is no need to bring the perfect aspect into this picture. It risks complicating things while in fact changing nothing.

  • I will have finished my homework by the time we eat.

  • I said I would have my homework finished by the time we ate.

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protected by tchrist Jun 13 '14 at 14:16

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