Has anyone encountered the future pluperfect before??

I knew a dishonest landlord who knew a dishonest constable. She hadn't yet served a deadbeat tenant with legal notice, but she said "don't worry, I will had done it!"

By this she meant that in the future she planned to have the dishonest constable backdate the records to show he had already been served on time, meaning yesterday.

Are there any other instances of this, or did she just invent a totally new tense useful for landlords, tax preparers, accountants, cheating schoolboys, etc.?

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    "I will had done it" is not grammatically correct. The modal "will" is followed by the plain form/infinitive form of the verb, so it should be "I will have done it."
    – sumelic
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 6:58
  • That is absolutely wrong. Where did you find this? Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 8:53
  • Welcome to ELL!! I hope you will keep coming back and asking more questions. This one is a delight!
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 5:27
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it concerns a one-off use of a made-up tense.
    – rjpond
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 21:24
  • 1
    Please don't vote to close this, just as you wouldn't close a question about a unique metaphorical use of vocabulary. It's a good question for English learners because: (a) the answers illustrate how fluent speakers make sense of the tense; (b) it clarifies the normal limits of English tense-formation; (c) it can elucidate dialectal tenses and how they're different from standard ones.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 8:27

4 Answers 4


It's brilliant!

I think this is the best possible way to communicate the intended meaning. No words could be truer to the spirit of English grammar. How better to express the intended dishonesty of falsely backdating the record of an act to be done in the future than to "backdate" the normal future perfect have to a future pluperfect had? The logic is impeccable. "I will have done it" wouldn't just be weak, it would be wrong.

It's catachresis, that is, unconventional grammar used deliberately for effect. Now, a certain vocal minority of humanity is obsessed with the idea that grammar must work by strict, predictable rules, established somehow by authorities (whether "descriptively" or "prescriptively"), and it's their job to reject every nonstandard formulation as if they were inspectors at a meat-processing plant ensuring that not one E. coli bacterium contaminate the nation's food supply. They aren't going to like this.

"Nonsense!" they'll say. They'll cite federal regulations. They'll quote CGEL. They'll prove it's ungrammatical.

They're almost right. It's a nonce tense.

All language—all vocabulary and all grammar—works by a listener's ability and willingness to "play along" with the way a speaker has varied previous utterances to communicate something new. Some people won't get it. Some people will get it but won't play along. But many people will play along.


Actually your example is of the "made up tense" and in any case it would be closer to the past future perfect than future past perfect. "Future past perfect" or "future pluperfect" is clearly non-descriptive of the example you give and "past future perfect" is clearly much better, but both are actually wrong and "made up tense" is the only acceptable description. see full text of https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=through+the+looking+glass+text&spf=1495826504471

Once we have clarified this point, there are numerous examples of the "made up perfect tense"

You say: "'Ere long done do does did," words which could only be your own, and then produce the text from whence was ripped (some dizzy whore, 1804).

The Smiths

the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll

My son will had been stupid.

Ura Momm-a

  • Future Pluperfect isn't a made-up tense, it exists, see my question about the Future Pluperfect. Commented May 27, 2017 at 7:37
  • @SovereignSun Hmm.. Interesting. AFAIK, we don't have a future tense. And "perfect" is not a tense by any means. Commented May 27, 2017 at 10:26
  • @user178049 That's a neverlasting discussion, in schools they teach us tgat there is a future simple, future perfect, future continuous and future perfect continuous tenses. Commented May 28, 2017 at 15:14
  • @SovereignSun yet I very much doubt you studied the past future perfect, or future past perfect, whichever way you choose to call it (and neither is a better description than the other), in a grade school. So you are arbitrarily choosing to support your statement that it isn't "made-up" by in some respects relying on what "in schools they teach" and in other respects choosing to ignore what "in schools they teach".
    – Brillig
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 15:02
  • @user178049 Some linguists say that English has no future tense, but they have a very technical, peculiar meaning in mind—and some linguists don't say that. In ordinary usage, English most certainly has a future tense: "I will go to the store." If you want technical terminology, it's a periphrastic conjugation, i.e. one with an auxiliary verb rather than (just) an inflection. As for whether "perfect" is a tense or an aspect—again, it just depends on whose terminology you're using.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 2:16

I used the future pluperfect today at work. I have a meeting tomorrow to get some information from a person at another organization. Today, when my boss asked if I had talked to that person yet, I answered "No, but I will have talked to her by this time tomorrow."

  • 1
    Hello Matt. That appears to be the future perfect "will have done something", not a pluperfect form "will have had done", and the question (which is a couple of years old) concerns "will had done". I don't think this answer adds much. Take a look at How to Answer and see the list of new questions to see if there is anyone that you can help.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 22:55

"I will have had done it."

Past Pluperfect: had had

Present Pluperfect: had

Future Pluperfect: will have had

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