Spanish Future Tense


To form the future tense, add the endings -é, -ás, á, -emos, -éis,-án to the infinitive. Some verbs have irregular stems in the future tense.

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The future tense is formed in two ways: the informal future, which consists of adding “ir + a + infinitive, and the simple future which is formed by a single word. Future plans, arrangements, and intentions are usually expressed either by the present simple or by the present simple of the verb “ir” “a” followed by the infinitive:

Mañana tengo una reunión                 I am having a meeting tomorrow.

Ella no viene hoy.                                 She is not coming today.

Voy a comprar una revista.                  I’m going to buy a magazine.

In talking about the future in general, including arrangements and intentions, the speaker can use the future tense.

Llegarán a las seis.                                 They will arrive at six.

Mañana les llamaremos                           We will call them tomorrow.

The Spanish simple future is used to express what shall or will happen, and it is also used to express what someone might or may be doing in the present.

Jugarás para el equipo nacional.

You will play for the national team.

Él hablará con su jefe esta noche.

He will talk with his boss tonight.

To form the simple future, simply add the correct ending to the infinitive of a verb. All verbs ending in (ar-er-ir) have the same endings in the simple future tense.

Yo te conoceré en el parque mañana.                 I will meet you at the park tomorrow.

Ella escribirá la carta a Pedro.                             She will write Pedro the letter.

General predictions are usually expressed in the future tense:

Lloverá en el norte.                                               It will rain in the north

Mis niños tendrán los ojos marrones.                   My children will have brown eyes.

Predictions with a high degree of certainty can be expressed by the present simple or by “ir- a.”

Mañana llueve aquí.                                               It is going to rain here tomorrow.

Mañana va a llover aquí                                         It’s going to rain here tomorrow.

The present simple can only refer to the future if there is a future element in the sentence, whether stated or simply understood.

Mañana juego al fútbol.                                         I’m playing football tomorrow.

Juego al fútbol.                                                       I play football.

Promises and future deductions are also expressed by the future tense:

A las ocho estarán cenando.                                   They will be having dinner at eight.

Te prometo que lo haré.                                           I promise you (that) I will do it.

Present deductions are also expressed by the future tense. Strong determination is expressed by the future tense, although in negative sentences the verb “querer” can also be used:

Lo haré.                                                                   I will do it.

No quiero ir a esa reunión.                                       I do not want to go to that reunion.

Will be + ing, has a literal translation only to refer to actions that will presumably be taking place at a certain time in the future:

Para esta hora mañana estaremos visitando Paris. At this time tomorrow, we’ll be visiting Paris.

The Spanish future perfect is very similar to its English counterpart, except in those cases in which “for” and “how long” are used:

No habrán muerto en vano.                                     They won’t have died in vain.

Lo habrán terminado para entonces.                       They will have finished it by then.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.