The Future in Spanish: el Futuro Simple
What are you going to do this weekend? Will you get your homework done on time? Are you planning to study more?
What do all of those sentences have in common? Yup, you guessed it! They all talk about things happening in the future – whether they are certain or not. Every day, we talk about our future plans, intentions, and assumptions. However, I bet you don’t pay much attention to what grammatical tense you use to talk about said plans, right?
Well, when learning another language, you may find that you do begin to think about which tense you use for every little situation. This is completely normal! There will come a time when you don’t need to think about tenses as much, but there’s no need to rush yourself.
Now, to talk about future plans in Spanish, there are a couple of different tenses that we need to go over. For this blog, we will only be talking about one tense. Click through the links to find more about other future forms in Spanish! You may feel overwhelmed at first, but with practice, you’ll master the Spanish future tenses in no time!
What is it?
When you think about the future tense, what do you think of? If you’re like me, you think of the word ‘will.’
I will do that tomorrow.
He will not come to the party.
The Spanish equivalent of this tense is called the futuro simple. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as adding the word ‘will’ before the verb. Let’s look at the conjugations first, then talk about some common patterns!
What do you know – the futuro simple may actually be simple after all! Did you notice how all types of verbs, -AR, -ER, and -IR, use the same endings? That’s super helpful.
There are two main things you need to look out for, though. Normally, when we conjugate verbs in Spanish, we take off the -AR, -ER, and -IR (infinitive) endings before adding the new endings specific to each tense. However, with the futuro simple, we leave those infinitive endings and add additional endings onto the end of the verb! The second important point is to watch out for the accent marks. Every form of the futuro simple EXCEPT the nosotros form has an accent on the ending.
Of course, like all Spanish tenses, there are irregular verbs. I will break them down for you into three different groups, though, so you can see the patterns.
Alright. We have 12 irregular verbs here, and most of them fall into one of two categories – either taking out the last vowel or replacing it with a ‘d’ before adding the futuro simple endings. Now, it’s just up to you to memorize which verb falls into which category! A lot of the common irregular verbs, like ir and ser are actually regular verbs in the futuro simple! Easy, right?
When do we use it?
Now that we’ve mastered the conjugation of the futuro simple, we need to make sure we can use it in the right situations.
Lo haré mañana. I will do it tomorrow.
In this situation, we use the future simple in both English and Spanish. We are talking about an intention to do something. Is it certain? Not necessarily, but the intent is there, so we use the futuro simple.
Ya estará en camino mi esposo. My husband is probably on his way.
Here, you can see that in Spanish we use the futuro simple, while in English, we use the present simple. Whenever you are assuming something without knowing if it is true or not, you use the futuro simple in Spanish. This sentence is an example of an assumption in the present tense, but this rule also applies to future assumptions.
Hazlo ahora. No tendrás tiempo el fin de semana. Do it now. You won’t have time this weekend.
Interestingly enough, for future assumptions like this one, you use the future simple in both English and Spanish!
Ya es muy tarde. Debo irme. Mi mama estará preocupada. It’s late. I have to go. My mom is probably worried.
Here we can see someone talking about the possibility that their mom is worried. While we could possibly translate this to English as “My mom will be worried,” the reality is that the mom is probably worried now because it is late. Either way, we use the futuro simple in Spanish to represent the possibility that she is worried.
¿Cuánto costará ese carro? I wonder how much that car costs.
This sentence also represents a possibility, but it looks a little different. In Spanish, we don’t have a word for ‘wonder,’ so we often use the futuro simple to express the uncertainty and possibility of the situation. Interesting, right?
Alright! That was a lot of information about the futuro simple. If you would like to learn more about this tense, check out our video below! Don’t forget to download practice exercises to make sure you can use the futuro simple on your own. You’ll find the answer key at the end!
As always, if you have any questions or want one-on-one help, schedule a FREE class with one of our amazing native Spanish-speaking teachers! They would love to help you with your language learning journey. ¡Hasta luego!