Future perfect for speculation on a completed action

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Guiriman, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Guiriman Member

    Español, España
    Hi, I was wondering if it's possible to use the future perfect in English when we're speculating on completed actions, since the futuro perfecto in Spanish can be used for that purpose. The reason I'm asking this is because I have a sentence that goes "They will have needed five boxes", which I want to translate into Spanish as "Ellos habrán necesitado cinco cajas" for teaching purposes. The thing is, the only context where the sentence in Spanish wouldn't sound weird to me is if I use it to speculate on a completed action so I want to make sure that there's no loss in meaning or context between the 2 sentences.

    P.D. Actually, the sentence in English also sounds a bit weird to me...
  2. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member/Moderator

    English, USA
    Hello. What follows is my own personal opinion.

    I don't believe that the English sentence (with the future perfect tense) carries the implication of speculation as the Spanish sentence. I say this for several reasons -- the most obvious, to me, being that I was surprised to learn of the implication in Spanish when I was studying the language.

    That being said, I would like to mention that the English future perfect is a very infrequently used tense.

    I am not sure if this helps you at all...

    Let's see what others think.
  3. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    British English
    I understood the English version straight away, but that may be because of French and Spanish influence. A more common English expression would be: 'they must have needed five boxes to pack all their belongings', but I personally find: 'they will have needed five boxes...' perfectly acceptable. Perhaps it's an AmE/BrE difference... not at all weird.

    If someone asked me, for example, if Guiri would be home this evening following cancellation of his flight, I could easily reply: 'Yes, I'm sure he will [be home this evening]. He will have booked himself on to an alternative flight.' I'm sure that's the same meaning you are conveying in Spanish.

    P.D. P.D. is P.S. in English!

    P.P.S. Your English is brilliant!
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    I agree with JJ. No problem at all. In normal speech, "He will have booked..." would be rendered as "He'll've booked..."
  5. Guiriman Member

    Español, España
    P.D. P.D. is P.S. in English!

    P.P.S. Your English is brilliant![/QUOTE]

    Haha..."P.D."...true true...thanks for the compliment. I'm actually half-British because of my dad, although he was always very reluctant to talk to me in both Spanish and English from an early age...so I became a native Spanish speaker (which I'm actually thankful for as it has given me a sense of identity too, lol).

    Anyway, thank you for your reply, it was very helpful (and so were the rest of them).
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013

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