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Published on: Grammar

The Complete Guide to the Future Tense in Spanish

The Future Tense Spanish is a really easy tense to study in the language. Spanish Future Tense is used in everyday interactions quite a lot so you don’t want to miss this small reading explaining all you need to know about it.

The Simple future tense in Spanish, also known as futuro imperfecto (imperfect future) or futuro simple de indicativo (simple future of indicative), is used to speak about impending actions, an intention, or a probability.

3 ways to express the Spanish future tense

1. Future tense in Spanish with ir a + infinitive (Informal Future)

This form is commonly used in the Spanish future tense to speak about immediate future actions, similar to “going to” sentences in English.

“Yo voy a dormir”
“Yo voy a dormir”. Image by Bruce Mars via Unsplash

To structure a simple future sentence in this form we use the verb “ir” in the present tense + the preposition “a” and an infinitive verb, which will describe the action to perform. (ir a + infinitive) Remember, an infinitive is the base form of the verb.

This is how to conjugate it:

●     Yo Voy a dormir
●     Tú Vas a caminar
●     Él/Ella/Usted Va a comer
●     Nosotros Vamos a visitar
●     Vosotros Vais a trabajar
●     Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes Van a cocinar
  1. Voy a comprar una camisa morada; a ella le gusta ese color: I’m going to buy a purple shirt, she likes that color.
  2. Mis amigos dijeron que le gustan los animales. Entonces, voy a contar historias sobre mi perro: My friends told me she likes animals. So, I’m going to tell stories about my dog.
  3. No puedo dejar oportunidad a otros, voy a bailar con ella toda la noche: I can’t allow others to have a chance, I’m going to dance with her the whole evening.
  4. Finalmente, voy a hablar sobre las cosas que le interesan: Finally, I’m going to talk about the things she’s interested in.

In order to use the future tense with the verb “ir” it’s got to be followed by the preposition “a”. If not, it will denote a movement in the present tense, it would mean that you’re heading to a place.

  • Hoy Miguel va a hablar sobre la vida en Marte: Today Miguel’s going to talk about life on Mars.
  • Miguel va al supermercado: Miguel’s going to the supermarket.

2. Spanish Future Tense ir a + infinitive with reflexive verbs (Informal Future)

In Spanish grammar, a reflexive verb is used when a verb whose direct object is the same as its subject. Reflexive verbs are not formed in Spanish the same way as in English.

“Voy a comerme el postre”
“Voy a comerme el postre”. Image by Caroline Attwood via Unsplash

In Spanish, there are two ways to add the reflexive particle to form the future tense, and in both ways we can use regular and irregular verbs.

  1. Me voy a comer la torta.
  2. Voy a comerme la torta.
I’m going to eat the cake.
  1. Te vas a poner el vestido rojo
  2. Vas a ponerte el vestido rojo.
  3. Se va a poner el vestido rojo
  4. Va a ponerse el vestido rojo.

 

You’re going to put your red dress on.

  1. Se va a hacer la cena.
  2. Va a hacerse la cena.
He/She is going to cook dinner.
  1. Nos vamos a sentar.
  2. Vamos a sentarnos.
We’re going to sit.
  1. Os vais a secar la cara.
  2. Vais a secaros la cara.
  3. Se van a secar la cara.
  4. Van a secarse la cara.
You’re going to dry your face.
  1. Se van a querer un poco más después de la luna de miel.
  2. Van a quererse un poco más después de la luna de miel.
They’re going to love each other
more after the honeymoon.

Notice that the reflexive particle can change its place in the sentence. It can either be placed at the beginning or as an ending in the verb.

Want to know more about Spanish Reflexive Verbs? Click that link and check our full guide.

3. Simple Spanish future tense

The Simple Future tense is used to describe events that will or shall happen in the future but with no specific point in time indicated, they might be occurring in the near or distant future. Unlike the Informal Future, to form the Future Simple tense we only conjugate regular and irregular verbs in the future we add a particular ending to the verb in its infinitive form depending on the subject.

  • Cuando sea grande, seré un astronauta: When I grow up, I’ll be an astronaut.

The English equivalent would be a sentence made with the auxiliary verb “will”. In Spanish, we use this simple future tense to talk about intentions, predictions, and suppositions.

3 most important uses of Simple future tense Spanish

1. To express the intention of performing an action in the future

  • Lavaré mi ropa mañana o pasado mañana: I’ll do my laundry tomorrow or after tomorrow.
  • Me pondré a trabajar más tarde, quiero más tiempo para mí: I’ll work later, I want some more me time.
  • Limpiaré mi casa uno de estos días: I’ll clean my house one of these days.

2. To speak about predictions, probabilities, possibilities and conjectures

  • No podrás venir a tiempo al juego si saldrás a pie: You won’t be able to come to the game on time if you leave on foot.
  • Veré Marte de cerca algún día: I’ll see Mars up close someday.
  • Creo que no hablaré: I think I won’t talk.

3. To talk about suppositions in the present

  • Asumo que no dejarás la escuela: I assume you won’t leave the school.
  • Imagino que trabajarás en el futuro: I imagine you’ll work in the future.
  • Quizás no terminaré las conjugaciones: I may not be able to finish all the conjugations.

Simple future tense in Spanish: regular verbs

We have three types of regular verbs in Spanish that we categorize according to their endings: –ar, –er and –ir verbs. Here are some examples of regular verbs conjugated in the simple future  tense:

-Ar endings

Pronouns

Hablar
(to say/talk/speak)

Tomar
(to take)

Necesitar
(to need)

Yo hablaré tomaré necesitaré
Tú/Usted hablarás tomarás necesitarás
Él/Ella hablará tomará necesitará
Nosotros hablaremos tomaremos necesitaremos
Vosotros hablaréis tomaréis necesitaréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes hablarán tomarán necesitarán

With -Er endings

Pronouns

Comer (to eat)

Ver (to see)

Yo comeré ve
Tú/Usted comerás verás
Él/Ella comerá verá
Nosotros comeremos veremos
Vosotros comeréis veréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes comerán verán

With -Ir endings

Pronouns

Vivir (to live)

Abrir (to open)

Yo viviré abri
Tú/Usted vivirás abrirás
Él/Ella vivirá abri
Nosotros viviremos abriremos
Vosotros viviréis abriréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes vivirán abrirán

Notice the stem verb remains the same in its infinitive form and we recognize they are in the simple future tense by following endings added after –ar, –er, and –ir.

Simple future tense in Spanish: irregular verbs

For irregular verbs in the future tense Spanish, you’ll notice in the following table that for some of them, not only the ending changes but also the stem (the initial part of the verb).

Verb Yo Él/Ella/Usted Nosotros Vosotros Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes
Saber
(to know)
sabr+é sabr+ás sabr+á sabr+emos sabr+éis sabr+án
Tener
(to have)
tendr+é tendr+ás tendr+á tendr+emos tendr+éis tendr+án
Venir
(to come)
vendr+é vendr+ás vendr+á vendr+emos vendr+éis vendr+án
Querer
(to want)
querr+é querr+ás querr+á querr+emos querr+éis querr+án
Decir
(to say)
dir+é dir+ás dir+á dir+emos dir+éis dir+án
Hacer
(to do/to make)
har+é har+ás har+á har+emos har+éis har+án
Poner
(to put)
pondr+é pondr+ás pondr+á pondr+emos pondr+éis pondr+án
Haber
(to have)
habr+é habr+ás habr+á habr+emos habr+éis hab+rán
Salir
(to go out/to get out)
saldr+é saldr+ás saldr+á saldr+emos saldr+éis saldr+án
Poder podr+é podr+ás podr+á podr+emos podr+éis podr+án

Some verbs like “Decir” will change their root from “Dec” to “Dir”, for example:

  • Diré unas palabras en el discurso de inauguración: I’ll say a few words in the inaugural speech.

Others like Saber will change their stem from “Sab” to “Sabr”, and “Tener” from “Ten” to “Tend”. The rest is just following the rules we use for regular verbs.

  • Sabré organizar mi tiempo para la asignación de mañana: I’ll know how to organize my time for tomorrow ‘s assignment.
  • Tendré que organizar mi tiempo mejor para la nueva asignación: I’ll have to organize my time better for the new assignment.

Use the verb haber in the simple present tense to form impersonal sentences and as an auxiliary verb for the future perfect tense.

15 Most used time phrases with the Spanish future tense

In the Spanish future tense, some of the following phrases can be used one way or the other with no difference in meaning. Some people use another word to replace “que viene”.

Let’s take a look at some of the phrases related to the future tense in Spanish that people tend to use:

  • Mañana: Tomorrow
  • Pasado mañana: After tomorrow.
  • La semana que viene o La semana próxima: Next week.
  • El mes que viene o El mes próximo: Next month.
  • El año que viene o El año próximo: Next year.
  • Nunca: Never
  • Algún día: Someday
  • Uno de estos días: One of these days.
  • Más tarde: Later
  • En un rato: In a while.
  • Pronto: Soon
  • Esta noche: Tonight

Keep in mind that you don’t have to know all irregular verb conjugations in Spanish right away, they’ll come with time and the more you use them the faster they stick with you. Besides, the best way to put all this into practice is to always engage in conversations.

Final Thoughts

Listen carefully to how native people speak using different tenses. Also, watching TV series, and enjoying music in the target language will greatly boost your learning process.

As with all education, you’ll only remember what you learn when you put it into practice. If you don’t have anyone to practice with, we invite you to try a free private class or sign up for a free 7-day trial of our group classes, and see why thousands of students trust SpanishVIP!

See you next time!

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