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By the time this quarter is over, you will have learnt much, and you WILL BE/ WILL HAVE BEEN one step closer your dream.

Could anybody readily and kindly tell me which one and why?

Thanks in advanced

  • Please provide more context. I have to assume you mean "Which one is correct, and why it is correct." Correct for what? – CoolHandLouis Apr 26 '14 at 7:38
  • As an encouragement, "Look I know it's hard now. But if you study hard and make good grades, then by the time this quarter is over, you will have learnt much, and you will be one step closer to your dream." – CoolHandLouis Apr 26 '14 at 7:40
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By the time this quarter is over, you will have learnt much, and you will be one step closer your dream.

This sentence uses the future tense (or simple future tense) of the English verb 'be'. It suggests that at the end of the quarter you could accurately describe yourself as being closer to your dream.

By the time this quarter is over, you will have learnt much, and you will have been one step closer your dream.

This sentence uses the future perfect tense. This is subtly different in that it describes something that will happen in the future, but will be completed, end, or cease to be true, by the time in the future that is being referenced. In this particular sentence, the meaning seems to be closer to suggesting that during the quarter you will get closer to achieving your dream, and then some kind of setback will cause you to lose that progress.

As an example, suppose that your dream is to graduate from university. In this case, a professor might utter the first sentence, using the "will be" conjugation, with the reasonable expectation that you will pass the class and be one class closer to graduation. However, if the professor suspects you cheat frequently, and plans to catch you cheating and have you expelled, he might reasonably utter the second sentence, with the "will have been" conjugation, in the expectation that your progress during the semester will bring one step closer to your dream of graduating, until he catches you red-handed.

This second scenario is perhaps a tad far-fetched, but it illustrates the difference well. I should also note that, as a native speaker, the second sentence sounds a bit odd to me. If the intention is instead to convey the same message while using the future perfect tense, you might instead say the following:

By the time this quarter is over, you will have learnt much, and you will have come one step closer your dream.

Perhaps a more clear illustration of this distinction can be made with the following sentences:

  1. Next month I will run a marathon.
  2. Next month I will have run a marathon.

Sentence 1 suggests that I plan to run a marathon sometime next month, whereas sentence 2 suggests that I plan to run a marathon some time this month, and that I will finish it by next month.

--Side note: Sentence 2 would be accurate, but slightly odd, if I have already run a marathon and have no intention of running another. This is because it the Gricean Maxim of Manner, a linguistic rule that states, in simplest terms, that one should be as informative as possible in their linguistic utterances.

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We use the perfective will have when we are looking back from a point in time when something will have happened.

By the end of the decade scientists will have discovered a cure for influenza. I will phone at six o’clock. He will have got home by then.

or looking "back" from the present:

Look at the time. The match will have started. It’s half past five. Dad will have finished work.

This might help you understand the use of "will have".

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