Future tense in Spanish

If you want to talk about what you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month or next year you will need to know how to use the future tense. There are two ways of expressing future actions in Spanish:

  1. Immediate future – for things that are already planned, are definitely going to happen and you know when. “Going to …”
  2. General future tense – for things further in the future but often there is no specific time in mind. “Will / shall …”

You will be pleased to know that neither of the two future tenses are too difficult to learn!

Immediate future

If you want to say what you or somebody else is “going to do”, fairly soon, for example, tomorrow, next week, in a fortnight, next month etc. you need to use the verb “ir” (to go) + a + an infinitive verb (verb in its simplest form).

You conjugate the verb “ir” and the rest stays the same, you just choose the infinitive you need.

Voy a trabajar mañana = I am going to work tomorrow.

¿Vas a salir el viernes? = Are you going to go out on Friday?

Ana va a conducir = Ana is going to drive.

Vamos a jugar al fútbol este fin de semana = We are going to play football this weekend.

¿Vais a ir a la fiesta de Pablo? = Are you going to go to Pablo’s party?

Van a llegar el lunes que viene = They are going to arrive next Monday.

Simple, right?

General future tense

The other future tense is more generalised. You may not know exactly when you are going to do this. Again, it is very easy to learn and the good thing is that you only have one set of endings to learn as they are the same for all three groups of verbs: -ar, -er and -ir. All you do is use the full infinitive verb and (unlike in the present tense when you take off the -ar, -er or -ir ending and add on a different ending), you attach the ending onto the end:

hablar = to speak

hablaré = I will speak

hablarás = you will speak (1 person)

hablará = he/she will speak / you (formal) will speak

hablaremos = we will speak

hablaréis = you will speak (2+ people)

hablarán = they will speak / you (formal/plural) will speak

You have the same endings for any regular -er ending verb:

comer = to eat

comeré = I will eat

comerás = you will eat

comerá = he/she will eat // you (formal) will eat

comeremoswe will eat

comeréis = you will eat (2+ people)

comerán = they will eat / you (formal/plural) will eat

You also have the same set of endings for any regular -ir ending verb:

vivirto live

viviré = I will live

vivirás = you will live

vivirá = he/she will live // you (formal) will live

viviremoswe will live

viviréis = you will live (2+ people)

vivirán = they will live / you (formal/plural) will live


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