Reply to "future perfect"

islam mohamed posted:

" I think people ........ on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows."
a) will live      b) might live      c) will have lived      d) might have lived

Hello, Islam Mohamed, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

The "Who knows" part tells us that the speaker isn't confident, so we can rule out "will live" and "will have lived" from the get-go, since they express confidence.

Between "might live" and "might have lived," only "might live" makes sense. That, I guarantee, is the answer the test makers desire.

"Might have lived" can be rejected because "might have V-ed" has a strong tendency to refer to the past, to a past counterfactual situation.

I myself would not use any of the choices. I'd more naturally use the progressive with "might" or "may." I might also use existential "there":

  • I think people may be living on the moon by the end of the 21st century.
  • I think people might be living on the moon by the end of the 21st century.

  • I think there may be people living on the moon by the end of the 21st Cent.
  • I think there might be people living on the moon by the end of the 21st Cent.
Last edited by David, Moderator
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