Introducing the Future Perfect
Once students have a grasp of the Italian future simple tense, introduce them to the future perfect tense. Start by writing a sentence on the board, such as:
Quando avrò finito di mangiare, leggerò. (When I have finished eating, I will read)
Ask students to write the sentence down in their notebooks, underline each of the verbs, and note what tense each verb is conjugated in. Students should have avrò as the “future simple of avere," finito as the “past participle of finire," and leggerò as the “future simple of leggere." If students are having a hard time identifying the different verb tenses, make a note of it to review those forms again. Point out to students that with the future perfect tense in Italian, essere or avere is put in the future simple, while the second verb is put in the past participle.
Explain to students that the future perfect tense is used in two ways:
- A future action that happens before another relevant action in the future.
- Expressing uncertainty or doubt about something that has already occurred.
Ask students which of the two usages the example fulfills. To illustrate the point, draw a timeline on the board. Ask students which action occurs first: eating or reading? Which happened second in the timeline? Point out to students that when a future perfect sentence follows the first incident, it can start with dopo che or quando.
Also practice using the future perfect tense and uncertainty with the students, making sure they understand the difference. Try the sentence:
Sarai stato stanco la settimana scorsa, dopo tre esami. (You must have been tired last week after three examinations)
Ask students: How is this sentence different from the first example? Make sure they can tell the difference between the two usages of the future perfect tense. At the end of the lesson, pass out a worksheet that gives examples of each type, and ask students to write down which condition the example fulfills.