I was making a table of the sentence "You must/have to see it." ("You see it.") in different tenses and moods in German with the English equivalent.

I ended up writing these three sentences down (in English) and was unsure about what tense they were in or if they could be considered valid sentences.

(1) You will have had to see it.
(2) You will have to have seen it.
(3) You will have had to have seen it.

I believe that (1) is future perfect but I have no idea about (2) and (3).



I'm a native English speaker and so I have never had a formal teaching of English grammar. As an example I will have used future perfect many times in my life but I have only recently known of it's existence! Most of what I have learnt is from the perspective of learning German.

  • 2
    I don't think "you will have had to see it" and the other two examples are verb tenses of the verb "see". You have two verbs: have as an obbligation ("I have to see"), not as an auxiliar ("I have seen"), and see. "You will have had to see it" isn't future perfect (such thing would be "You will have seen). See also Catenative verbs (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catenative_verb) – Yay Jan 2 '16 at 14:29
  • @Yay : Sorry I had made an error there and I've done a correction. – Haydon Jan 2 '16 at 15:08
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    (1) and (3) are future perfects of "have to". (2) is the future of "have to". (2) and (3) have perfect infinitives after the verb "have to". – Greg Lee Jan 2 '16 at 15:33
  • @Greg Lee (2) the Future of have to is "you will have to see it." This is something else. – Tom B Jan 2 '16 at 16:00
  • @Yay: Also thanks for linking to the article about Catenative verbs. I had been thinking about them the other day but did not realise that that is what they are. – Haydon Jan 2 '16 at 16:25

Numbers 1 and 3 are as stated both forms of the Future Perfect (will + have + Past Participle) e.g. You will have had dinner by the time I arrive. Just add had + infinitive and you have obligation.

(2) You will have to have seen it.

If we use this in an example we can say something like

He will have to have bought the tickets before he sees the movie

I think this is a deduction and you need to change will to would for it to be logical and distinguish itself from the Future Perfect.

For example: He would have to have bought the tickets before he saw the movie.

I don't think the example with will and see is correct.

I think the example as originally stated is just an incorrect use of the Future Tense.

  • You haven’t seen it? Well, by the time you graduate you will have to have seen it- it’s required for your major. – Jim Jan 3 '16 at 0:03
  • I see that example as forced and difficult to understand. That idea is clearer as "you haven't seen it? Well, by the time you graduate you will have." – Tom B Jan 3 '16 at 5:39
  • @TomB: I didn't realise that "obligation" was classed as a mood. – Haydon Jan 7 '16 at 20:55
  • @TomB: I don't follow your sentence "I don't think the example with will and see is correct." from your first line it looks like you believe it to be a form of the Future Perfect. – Haydon Jan 7 '16 at 21:19

'you will see' = future habitual

'you will have seen' = future perfect

the rest all contain control verbs (you could replace have*/had* with want/wanted...)

'you will have* to see' = future habitual (inf habitual)

'you will have* to have seen' = future habitual (inf perfect)

'you will have had* to have seen' = future perfect (inf perfect)

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