Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am not sure why this sentence is incorrect from tense's perspective.

It is certain that the construction of the road will be completed by the winter of 2014.

Also, according to my book its incorrect. According to my book, the sentence should have taken the future perfect form as emphasis is on completion. But they are re-writing the sentence as:

It is certain that the construction of the road will have been completed by the winter of 2014.

But this sentence takes future perfect continuous form. So I think it should be will have completed by the winter of 2014. Please correct me if I am wrong.

share|improve this question
2  
"will have been completed" is Future Perfect Passive. –  Alex B. Nov 28 '12 at 17:36
    
Anything completed by the 10th of May will have certainly been completed by the 11th. And I'd just refer to the road's being completed. –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 28 '12 at 17:42
1  
What AlexB says: Complete is a transitive verb: the construction doesn't "complete" itself, it must "be completed" by the contractors. And what Edwin Ashworth says, too; your book is rather more picky than is called for. (But do what your book says anyway, so you pass the exam!) –  StoneyB Nov 28 '12 at 17:42
    
In the first sentence, completed is an adjective. The version of this in the present tense is the road is completed. Here, we have the verb is and the adjective complement completed. Putting this in the future, we get the road will be completed, a perfectly grammatical sentence. –  Peter Shor Nov 28 '12 at 17:44
1  
@Barrie: quite right. I don't know why I was thinking it had to be an adjective there. –  Peter Shor Nov 29 '12 at 16:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The first sentence is fine. Will + be + past participle is a passive construction, and expresses a future state, act or condition. The substitution of have been for be is also possible, but it gives a slightly different perspective on the timing.

There is no continuous form in either sentence, and your proposed version will have completed is not really grammatical in this context.

share|improve this answer
    
@Baarrie England: According to my understanding the first sentence sounds okay to me. But according to my book the sentence talks about the completion of an action before a given time, so the future simple tense is inappropriate (the first sentence is in simple future tense) so they are recommending on future perfect. –  Sudhir Nov 28 '12 at 18:00
    
What is the name of the book? –  Barrie England Nov 28 '12 at 18:11
    
Its local book. You might be not knowing. –  Sudhir Nov 28 '12 at 18:13
1  
It isn't incorrect. –  Barrie England Nov 28 '12 at 18:37
1  
@Sudhir In certain contexts future perfect may be incorrect, or ungraceful, and your book is probably teaching you a form which will still be correct in those contexts. Teachers, and the writers of style guides, will often give you oversimplified rules which prevent you from making errors. –  StoneyB Nov 28 '12 at 18:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.