The Future Tense

Posted on 16th December 2013 in Conjugation

The Future Tense

by Russell Sabo

In Spanish, when you want to say that somebody will do something, something will happen, or guess at probability, you will use the future tense. You can also express speculation. For English speakers, using the words “will” and “shall” convey the use of the future tense. As with all simple tenses in Spanish, you will not have to add a word to the verb to form the tense (such as “will” or “shall”); you will instead add an ending to the infinitive.

  • Para la cena, comeré Bandeja Paisa. – For supper, I will eat Bandeja Paisa.
  • Serán las siete. – It’s probably seven o’clock.
  • ¿Quién almorzará a las cuatro? – I wonder who eats lunch at four o’clock?

How is the Future Tense Formed?


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  1. First, we’ll take the infinitive form of the verb: Hablar (to speak), Comer (to eat), and Vivir (to live).
  2. Add the following endings to the infinitive. Note: All the verbs will receive the same endings, regardless of their AR/ER/IR endings. In this way, the infinitive itself functions as the verb stem. I’ve included the AR/ER/IR conjugations for clarity. Remember that all of the conditional verbs have the accent mark on the í.
    • (yo) Hablar – Hablar receives “-é” becoming “Hablaré”. Yo hablaré.
    • (tú) Hablar – Hablar receives “-ás” becoming “Hablarás”. Tú hablarás.
    • (Usted, él, ella) Hablar – Hablar receives “-á” becoming “Hablará”. Usted hablará. Él hablará. Ella hablará.
    • (nosotros/as) Hablar – Hablar receives “-emos” becoming “Hablaremos”. Nosotros/as hablaremos.
    • (vosotros/as) Hablar – Hablar receives “-éis” becoming “Hablaréis”. Vosotros/as hablaréis.
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Hablar – Hablar receives “-án” becoming “Hablarán”. Ustedes hablarán. Ellos hablarán. Ellas hablarán.
  3. For verbs that normally end with ER and IR, add these ending to form the future tense.
    • (yo) Comer – Comer receives “-é” becoming “Comeré”. Yo comeré.
    • (yo) Vivir – Vivir receives “-é” becoming “Viviré”. Yo viviré.
    • (tú) Comer – Comer receives “-ás” becoming “Comerás”. Tú comerás.
    • (tú) Vivir – Vivir receives “-ás” becoming “Vivirás”. Tú vivirás.
    • (Usted, él, ella) Comer – Comer receives “-á” becoming “Comerá”. Usted comerá. Él comerá. Ella comerá.
    • (Usted, él, ella) Vivir – Vivir receives “-á” becoming “Vivirá”. Usted vivirá. Él vivirá. Ella vivirá.
    • (nosotros/as) Comer – Comer receives “-emos” becoming “Comeremos”. Nosotros/as comeremos.
    • (nosotros/as) Vivir – Vivir receives “-emos” becoming “Viviremos”. Nosotros/as viviremos.
    • (vosotros/as) Comer – Comer receives “-éis” becoming “Comeréis”. Vosotros/as comeréis.
    • (vosotros/as) Vivir – Vivir receives “-éis” becoming “Viviréis”. Vosotros/as viviréis.
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Comer – Comer receives “-án” becoming “Comerán”. Ustedes comerán. Ellos comerán. Ellas comerán.
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Vivir – Vivir receives “-án” becoming “Vivirán”. Ustedes vivirán. Ellos vivirán. Ellas vivirán.
  4. Here are the conjugated verbs once again with their meanings.
    • Hablar+é=Hablaré (I will speak), Comer+é=Comeré (I will eat), Vivir+é=Viviré (I will live)
    • Hablar+ás=Hablarás (you will speak), Comer+ás=Comerás (you will eat), Vivir+ás=Vivirás (you will live)
    • Hablar+á=Hablará (You (formal) will speak, he will speak, she will speak)
    • Comer+á=Comerá (You (formal) will eat, he will eat, she will eat)
    • Vivir+á=Vivirá (You (formal) will live, he will live, she will live)
    • Hablar+emos=Hablaremos (we will speak), Comer+emos=Comeremos (we will eat), Vivir+emos=Viviremos (we will live)
    • Hablar+éis=Hablaréis (you all (informal) will speak), Comer+éis=Comeréis (you all (informal) will eat), Vivir+éis=Viviréis (you all (informal) will live)
    • Hablar+án=Hablarán (you all (formal) will speak, they (males or a mixed group) will speak, they (all females) will speak)
    • Comer+án=Comerán (you all (formal) will eat, they (males or a mixed group) will eat, they (all females) will eat)
    • Vivir+án=Vivirán (you all (formal) will live, they (males or a mixed group) will live, they (all females) will live)

Future Tense and Reflexive Verbs

The reflexive pronoun appears in front of the reflexive verb.

  • Levantarse – to get up
  • me levantaré
  • te levantarás
  • se levantará
  • nos levantaremos
  • os levantaréis
  • se levantarán

Future Tense and Irregular Verbs

There are 12 irregular verbs in the future tense which are included in 3 patterns. As is normal in the Spanish language, the irregular verbs are always some of the verbs one uses the most. However, because there are only 12, they are easy to memorize. As a bonus, these 12 verbs are also the same 12 irregular verbs in the conditional tense, so once you know these verbs, you’ll also know the conditional tense irregular verbs. Here are the verbs in their respective Pattern families.

Pattern 1

  • caber – to be contained, to fit / Cabr-
  • haber – to have (auxiliary verb) / Habr-
  • poder – to be able, can / Podr-
  • querer – to want / querr-
  • saber – to know, to know how / Sabr-

Here is an example conjugation of a Pattern 1 irregular verb in the conditional tense.

  • Poder – to be able, can
  • yo podré – I will be able
  • tú podrás – you will be able
  • Usted, él, ella podrá – you (formal), he, she will be able
  • nosotros/as podremos – we will be able
  • vosotros/as podréis – you all (informal) will be able
  • Ustedes, ellos, ellas podrán – you all (formal), they (all males or a mixed group), ellas (all females) will be able

Pattern 2

  • poner – to place, to put / Pondr-
  • salir – to leave / Saldr-
  • tener – to have / Tendr-
  • valer – to be worth / Valdr-
  • venir – to come / Vendr-

Here is an example conjugation of a Pattern 2 irregular verb in the conditional tense.

  • Tener – to have
  • yo tendré – I will have
  • tú tendrás – you will have
  • Usted, él, ella tendrá – you (formal), he, she will have
  • nosotros/as tendremos – we would have
  • vosotros/as tendréis – you all (informal) will have
  • Ustedes, ellos, ellas tendrán – you all (formal), they (all males or a mixed group), ellas (all females) will have

Pattern 3

  • decir – to say, to tell / Dir-
  • hacer – to do, to make / Har-

Here is an example conjugation of a Pattern 3 irregular verb in the conditional tense.

  • Decir – to say, to tell
  • yo diré – I will say, I will tell
  • tú dirás – you will say, you will tell
  • Usted, él, ella dirá – you (formal), he, she will say. you (formal), he, she will tell
  • nosotros/as diremos – we will say, we will tell
  • vosotros/as diréis – you all (informal) will say, you all (informal) will tell
  • Ustedes, ellos, ellas dirán – you all (formal), they (all males or a mixed group), ellas (all females) will say. you all (formal), they (all males or a mixed group), they (all females) will tell.

Hay and the Future Tense

When you use the future tense of the word “Hay”, which means “there is” or “there are” you will use the word “Habrá” – there will be.

  • Habrá más manzanas el año que viene. – There will be more apples next year.
  • Habrá dos policías aquí en diez minutos. – There will be two policemen here in ten minutes.

To say, “It will be necessary to…” use “Habrá que.”

      Habrá que saltar del carro. – It will be necessary to jump from the car.

    When to Use the Future Tense

    First of all, when can the future happen? Or to be more specific, which words can you use to express time in the future? Will it happen tonight? Next week? Next year? Below is a list of expressions of time in the future.

    • at one, at two in the afternoon – a la una, a las dos de la tarde
    • in two days – de aquí a dos días
    • later – luego
    • later – más tarde
    • next Tuesday – al martes que viene
    • next week – la semana que viene
    • next month – el mes que viene
    • next year – el año que viene
    • on Wednesday – el miercoles
    • the day after tomorrow – pasado mañana
    • this afternoon – esta tarde
    • this spring – esta primavera
    • this summer – este verano
    • tomorrow – mañana
    • tomorrow morning – mañana por la mañana
    • tomorrow afternoon – mañana por la tarde
    • tomorrow night – mañana por la noche
    • tonight – esta noche

    There are a few situations in which you will use the future tense. Most of the time you will use it when you want to say that you “will do” something (Comeré – I will eat, correrán – they will run, terminaremos – we will finish). This is different from saying that you’re “going to do” something. In that case you will use “voy a + infinitive” (voy a comer – I’m going to eat, van a correr – they’re going to run, vamos a terminar – we’re going to finish). Below I’ve listed the situations in which you will use the future tense.

    Future Action/s or States

    To say that something will happen or that something or someone will be in a certain state of being, use the future tense.

    • Tú verás la pelicúla mañana. – You will see the movie tomorrow.
    • Vosotros estaréis contentos la semana que viene. – You all will be happy next week.

    Conjecture, Guessing and Wondering

    You can use the future tense to make a guess, to wonder something, and to convey conjecture.

    • ¿Cuándo será la fiesta? – I wonder when the party is.
    • ¿Cuánto costará ese carro azul? – I wonder how much that blue car costs

    Probability

    You can use the future tense to convey that something is probable.

    • El asesino, ¿será Frank? – The murderer, can it be Frank?

     

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    Click here to learn more about the Future Tense – Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 2 Nivel 2
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