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Once I make another cake, I will have possessed 3 cakes.

Once I make another cake, I will possess 3 cakes.

Would anybody possibly explain the difference between these?

I would like to know clearly the concept of this specific FUTURE PERFECT.

Or,

I can not yet understand the difference between these? it is MY QUESTION:

Once I make another cake, I will have possessed 3 cakes.

Once I make another cake, I will possess 3 cakes.

The building is hardly there to satisfy the needs of structure but, whatever its purpose or plan, structural needs will have had a vital hand in shaping its form.

The building is hardly there to satisfy the needs of structure but, whatever its purpose or plan, structural needs will have a vital hand in shaping its form.

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    I don't know what you think "readily" means, but whatever it is, you're not using the word correctly. It means enthusiastically, very willingly - but whereas I can reasonably say, for example, "I will readily answer your question", you can't reasonably ask me "Please readily answer my question". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 5 '14 at 15:40
  • Your example usages are probably not at all good for illustrating potential differences between "simple" future and future perfect. This is partly because in the first case to have occurs twice, once as an auxiliary verb, and once with genuine semantic content (though it's ambiguous whether had means possessed, owned, or eaten, consumed). Try replacing make with eat, for example, and it should be obvious why these are bad examples. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 5 '14 at 15:47
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tl;dr: "I will possess three cakes" means you will have three cakes. "I will have possessed three cakes" means you'll have three cakes, then later on, you won't have them anymore for some reason (you gave them away, they got eaten, etc.) The future perfect is a relative tense, which means that it places an event in reference to another event. It also embodies a sense of an action being completed—this sort of thing is called verbal aspect. Specifically, it places the completion of an event as happening after some other event. That other event is often a direct cause of the future perfect event being completed.

The future tense just means that an event happens in the future. The future perfect means that an event will happen in the future, then "conclude" in some way before a more distant future time.

In your example, "Once I make another cake, I will possess three cakes" means that sometime in the future, I will make a cake, and the number of cakes I'll have after that is three.

The sentence "Once I make another cake, I will have possessed three cakes" sounds awkward in English, because it doesn't say anything about completing the possession of three cakes. "Once I make another cake and rampaging honey badgers steal it, I will have possessed three cakes" sounds good. It gives a direct cause for the completion of your ownership of three cakes. When you use the future perfect for possessing three cakes, you're talking about a future where you had three cakes, then somehow ended your possession of those three cakes.

Your other example, "structural needs will have had a hand in shaping its form", makes more sense; it implies that the time when structural needs have a hand in shaping the building's form will be completely over and done with by the time you're referring to. You could rephrase it as "When the building's form is shaped, structural needs will have played a vital role in shaping it." Here, the event that causes the completion of the future perfect verb is implicit: "When the building's form is shaped" tells us that we're talking about a time when the building's form has already been completely shaped, and of course, when that ends, anything that plays a vital role in shaping its form will also have ended. So the end to shaping the building's form directly causes an end to the vital role played in that shaping by structural needs.

"structural needs will have a hand in shaping the building's form" just says that sometime in the future, when the building's form is being shaped, structural needs will play some part.

So the future tense really talks about events happening at just one time, which is sometime in the future. The future perfect actually talks (openly or implicitly) about two events: one in the distant future, and one in the nearer future which you expect to be completed when the distant future event takes place.

Here's another way to understand the future perfect tense: it's a time-shifted version of the past perfect. In the past tense, you could say "After I made another cake, I possessed three cakes." That would just mean that you had two cakes, made another one, and then you had three.

In the past perfect, you could say "After I made another cake and then ate it, I had possessed three cakes." The implication is strongly that the time when you possessed the cakes was over and done with before some other event that you're about to mention occurred. Similarly, the future perfect strongly implies that the event it describes happened after some other event. An event in the future perfect, like the past perfect, only really makes sense in relation to some other event that occurred after it.

Here's another example, which compares the past perfect and future perfect to show their similarities:

  • "I had possessed three cars when I bought the Prius." This implies that the speaker had three cars, and was done having them at the time he bought the Prius. Another way to look at it is that the speaker really wants to talk about the Prius, but needs you to know the number of cars he had before had bought it.
  • "I will have had three cars when the one I've got breaks down." This implies that the speaker currently has his third car. Sometime in the future, it will break down. Then the number of cars he's owned will be three; saying 'will have had three cars' suggests that after his third car breaks down, his ownership of these three cars will be complete.
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  • So, does future perfect mean 2 different concepts, considering the examples that have already been provided? – nima Apr 6 '14 at 7:24
  • Namely, considering the example as to cakes, the future perfect does not mean it's original concept? – nima Apr 6 '14 at 7:26
  • I am yet somehow confused with""Once I make another cake, I will have possessed three cakes" implies that your possession of three cakes will somehow have happened and then be over after you make another cake. It doesn't strictly make sense to say this when talking about cakes. You could maybe imagine that your three cakes are given away as soon as the third one comes out of the oven, so that after that happens, you "will have possessed three cakes"; you're talking about a future where you used to have three cakes, but don't anymore. – nima Apr 6 '14 at 7:31
  • In the whole or finally, does the one have three cakes or not? – nima Apr 6 '14 at 8:19
  • Edited, hopefully more clear. – tsleyson Apr 7 '14 at 7:38

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