When do we use 'will be' + v3 form of verb? Example, 'I will be finished in an hr vs I will have finished in an hr.' What is the difference?

  • Consider how They will have given her a call yesterday doesn't swap around so easily. Closest might be She will have been given a call yesterday, but now you've lost the original subject, and adding by them does not sound right. Also, those uses of will are for something in the past, not the future.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:01
  • 1
    Use the simplest verb form you can get away with it. If it's available, use the simple past or present. And will is virtually always contracted: I'll, you'll, he'll, they'll, we'll, it'll, etc. are much more common than their separated variants. Generally English speakers don't use will for future reference, unless they're generalizing. Be going to (/gənə/) is more common, especially for things that are more likely (cf: Watch out! That rock is gonna/*will fall! Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:43
  • "I'll be finished in an hour" and "I'll have finished in an hour" are both acceptable among Brits, and I'd expect relevant Google 5-grams to show this (but tea calls). Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 16:59
  • Google Ngrams indeed show both usages, but "I'll be finished in" is far more commonly observed. There's little difference in meaning, other than the verbal construction focusing more on the achieving, the adjectival on the achievement. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


In I will be finished, "finished" isn't functioning as a past participle, but as an adjective, meaning "complete, done".

In a different tense, it is "I'm finished".

As Tim Baverstock points out, it could in principle be passive "I will be finished" = "Something will finish me"; but this use is rare with an person as the subject. "The work will be finished" is more natural as a passive.


If you substitute the verb 'eaten' or 'tickled' for 'finished', it looks like a switch between whether you are the actor or the recipient.

You can still understand 'I will be finished' to mean 'I will be ruined' (i.e. by someone/thing else).

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