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I posted the question here

https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/295727/bad-usage-of-will-have

but it was closed due to insufficient details or clarity. I'm trying here.


The following sounds wrong to me; what do you think:

  1. "As you will have heard, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain at alert level 4 until at least 11.59 pm on Friday 27 August."

  2. "As you will have no doubt heard, there are two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wellington today, bringing the total number in the region to eight."

Why I think it's wrong. 'Will have' should be used to reference a point in the future:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/future-perfect-simple-i-will-have-worked-eight-hours

That's not the case in both sentences. Their meaning is:

  • As you probably have heard by now, ...
  • As you must have heard, ...

I got an opinion:

both of them are fine, grammatically.

"as you will have heard" - referring to the past from the point in the future when the reader is reading (which is in the future relative to the time of writing).

"As you will have no doubt heard," is the same, with the extra assertion that the writer has no doubt that the reader will have heard.

I don't agree with it. It's not snail mail: by the time you get this letter, you will have heard... It's email: you get it immediately, and I'm assuming you are reading it now, and I'm expressing myself as if I'm speaking to you in person.

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  • 1
    Related, including possible duplicates: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
    – tchrist
    Aug 24 '21 at 22:56
  • 1
    It took me time to go over it, but yes, it covers it, thanks.
    – Zohar Levi
    Aug 28 '21 at 2:31
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"Will" can refer to the future but it can also refer to what is likely

will modal verb (LIKELY)

(also 'll) used to refer to what is likely: That'll be Scott at the door. That'll be his mother with him. As you all will know, election day is next week.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/will

So the quotations are correct and mean that it is likely that the addressee will have heard.

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    I realize that you yourself mustᴱᵖⁱˢᵗᵉᵐⁱᶜ know this already, but for the record and for the OP who still mustᴰᵉᵒⁿᵗⁱᶜ study these matters, a sentence like “He willᴱᵖⁱˢᵗᵉᵐⁱᶜ have finished that last week” is a statement about the past, not one about the future. It is a modal perfect in the epistemic modality of probabilities rather than in the deontic modality of permissions the way it is in the first but not the second clause of “If you willᴰᵉᵒⁿᵗⁱᶜ have a seat, we willᴱᵖⁱˢᵗᵉᵐⁱᶜ be able to get started”. None of these are in a tense; they're modals, including modal perfects.
    – tchrist
    Aug 24 '21 at 23:30

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