I want to say something like "After I have gone to university, I will go..."

Do I use the perfect past then future or another tense?

2 Answers 2


Or you can simply say:

Après avoir terminé mes études, j'irai...

That is how you also preserve the English structure.

Après que is usually used when the subject in the main clause is different from that found in the subordinate one.


Whereas in English we use the present perfect, in French you use the future perfect (futur antérieur). This is then matched with either of the normal future tenses.

(Updated) Here's that concordance in action in a sentence similar to yours:

Quand j'aurai terminé mes études, je partirai en France.

Outside of "textbook speak", it may be possible to exchange the futur antérieur for another tense (perhaps the futur simple ?). I leave it to a native speaker to weigh in or submit their own answer.


I think you could use après que instead of quand ("after" vs. "when"), but Feelew suggests otherwise. If quand sounds more natural, it might be because après que is usually paired with a subjunctive, which isn't possible in a future tense. The meaning would be the same for either choice in the future perfect, so choose what sounds most natural.

Either way, it can be changed for après alone if the subject is the same in both halves of the sentence. If you do this, then the first tense is the perfect infinitive:

Quand la pluie aura cessé, je... (Subject changes)
Après avoir terminé mes études, je... (Subject is the same)

It's also possible to use the futur simple for this first tense, but the meaning is slightly different, because it doesn't necessarily mean the action is finished.

Quand la pluie cessera, je sortirai. (The choice of verb implies that the action is over anyway)
Quand j'étudierai le français... (Alert! The future action would not be over yet)

Second tense

Also, for some verbs you could combine a future with the infinitive for the second half of this structure. Compare these two versions:

Après avoir terminé mes études, je vais travailler / je travaillerai.
Après avoir terminé mes études, j'irai travailler.

To me this seems to be mainly a difference in wording: "I will work" vs. "I will go to work."

  • Hum, I would say "Après que j'aurai terminé mes études, je travaillerai".
    – Destal
    Apr 27, 2017 at 6:04
  • Voire « j'irai travailler »
    – Toto
    Apr 27, 2017 at 9:17
  • When it comes to saying, I would definitely use «je vais [aller] travailler», but true, the futur simple is usually more elegant, simply not much used anymore (at least in Quebec). Also, it seems to me that although English "after" and "once" are about equivalent, I would select "Quand j'aurai" over "Après que j'aurai" in French. Apr 27, 2017 at 11:55
  • @Toto Luke ne voulait pas dire "se rendre à son travail" mais "commencer un nouveau travail à la fin de ses études". Mais son exemple a disparu avec l'édition de son commentaire...
    – Destal
    Apr 27, 2017 at 13:12
  • En tout cas, pouvoir les comparaître de façon plus proche me semble être le mieux. Je rajoute la première version...
    – Luke Sawczak
    Apr 27, 2017 at 14:01

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