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  1. The project will have already finished by March.
  2. The project will have finished by March.
  3. The project will finish by March.

Now I'm doing it. In March, it will have been completed. It may be completed sooner than March though. Which one is correct and why.

Thank you.

  • 2
    The project will be finished in March. – Hot Licks Jan 31 at 17:41
  • You say it may be completed sooner than March, but already implies it definitely will be completed before then. And your third example isn't remotely "English". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 31 at 17:42
  • Note that My new patio will be finished in summer could either mean that it will already have been finished by then, OR that the actual "completion date" will be some time during summer (but not before). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 31 at 17:51
  • The project will be finished by March at the latest. It's more common to speak of a project (carried out by people, of course) being finished rather than finishing. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 31 at 19:43
  • English does not have a future tense you know. The word have is in the bare infinitive, has is in the present tense, and had is in past tense. There is no such inflection that morphologically changes the word have into a new word marked for the future. – tchrist Jan 31 at 22:41
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All three of these are acceptable, and indicate that the project will be done before or during March, but have slightly different connotations

1) "The project will have already finished by March" suggests that this is being discussed in the context of something that happens later than March. The "will have" construction implies looking backward from a future point in time, and the "already" indicates that March is sometime before that future point. This construction, overall, suggests that the project is going to finish too early for something else that will happen later. This would be an appropriate phrasing if someone was suggesting a project team meeting in April, for example.

2) "The project will have finished by March" is again looking backward from a future time. Very similar to the first phrasing, but without the "already" there's less emphasis on the discrepancy between the later time and when the project finishes.

3) "The project will finish by March" is the simplest construction, simply stating by what time the project will finish. There is no relationship to some future time beyond March, this is just a forward-looking statement.

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