Ir + a + Infinitive: The Near Future Tense in Spanish
Ir + a + infinitive is a simple Spanish formula for expressing the near future. In fact, a similar formula exists in English, where we swap ir for “going”:
- What are you going to do today?
- Who are you going to see?
- Where are you going to go this weekend for fun?
Discussing your plans and intentions for the future are an important part of daily conversations and in Spanish, there are two ways to accomplish this:
- The simple future
- The near future
In this blog post, we are going to explore the near future using the ir + a + infinitive formula!
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Going to the Future
When you talk about the near future, you say you’re “going to do” something—this is called the futuro próximo, or the futuro idiomático.
In contrast to the simple future, the near future doesn’t involve a lot of new endings and accents. This is convenient and quick to learn because once you get the formula down, you won’t have to memorize any new verb endings!
How to Form the Near Future Tense in Spanish
First, let’s look at an example in English:
“I am going to call you later. “
Unlike in English, the near future tense in Spanish uses the present simple conjugation of ir (voy) instead of the present continuous (yendo):
Te voy a llamar más tarde.
So, what is the formula?
Present simple conjugation of ir + a + infinitive verb
- Always use the present simple conjugations of the verb ir.
- Always include the word a between ir and the infinitive verb.
- An infinitive verb in Spanish is one that ends in -ar, -er, and -ir.
Refresh the Present
If you already have the present simple conjugations of the verb ir memorized, then this form will be very easy for you! If not, you can use this following chart to refresh your memory:
Using the formula, you can create sentences such as:
Yo voy (ir) a (a) caminar (infinitive).
Tú vas (ir) a (a) saber (infinitive).
Nosotros vamos (ir) a (a) correr (infinitive).
Now, you give it a try! Which other sentence can you make using ir + a + infinitive?
When Do I Use the Near Future Tense?
Now, you have everything you need to form the near future with ir + a + infinitive. But, when do you use it?
1. For the Immediate Future
If you are talking about what you are going to do shortly (ahorita), you’ll use the ir + a + infinitive formula.
This could include things that you’re going to do in 5 minutes or 5 days—it all depends on your definition of “soon.” Either way, the near future is the appropriate tense to use.
Lo voy a hacer ahorita.
I am going to do it right now (soon).
¿Vas a venir con nosotros?
Are you going to come with us?
2. For Making Plans
The type of plans that use the near future tense are more tentative and not exactly set in stone. Maybe you haven’t yet bought your flight to Mexico, but you’re looking for a cheap one. Maybe your friend hasn’t invited everyone to the party yet, but she marked it down in her calendar.
Vamos a ir de vacaciones a México en diciembre.
We’re going to go on vacation to Mexico in December.
Ella va a tener una fiesta el sábado.
She’s going to have a party on Saturday.
3. For Setting Intentions
Intentions are like New Year’s resolutions—sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. And then there are times when they do happen, but just not how we expected them to. Whatever the case may be, we need to use the near future formula ir + a + infinitive in Spanish to express things that we intend to do.
Lo voy a hacer mañana.
I’m going to do it tomorrow.
Voy a limpiar mi cuarto más tarde.
I’m going to clean my room later.
Useful Spanish Time Expressions
Here are some useful words and expressions you can to use to specify when you are going to do something. These are commonly matched with ir + a + infinitive.
Hoy – Today
Mañana – Tomorrow
Más tarde – Later
Esta tarde – This afternoon
La semana que viene – Next week
El mes que viene – Next month
El año que viene – Next year
Esta noche – Tonight
Mañana por la mañana – Tomorrow morning
Mañana por la tarde – Tomorrow afternoon
Mañana por la noche – Tomorrow night
Future Tenses in Spanish: Near vs Simple
When it comes to expressing your intentions, you can use both Spanish future tenses: near and simple.
Despite having a slightly different connotation, or feel, to them, they are appropriate and completely acceptable when talking about your intentions.
Here are some examples to make your life a bit easier!
Near Future: (ir + a + infinitive)
Voy a practicar mi español más.
I’m going to practice my Spanish more.
Practicaré mi español más.
I will practice my Spanish more.
Near Future: (ir + a + infinitive)
Vamos a hablar de eso después.
We’re going to talk about that later.
Hablaremos de eso después.
We will talk about that later.
Let’s Practice: ¡Practiquemos!
Of course, la práctica hace al maestro (practice makes perfect). To make sure you can use the near future formula ir + a + infinitive with ease in your next Spanish conversation, test yourself below with some exercises and take a look at our Spanish Academy TV episode on all the future tenses in Spanish below. It is in Spanish, so it will give you extra practice.
Boost Your Fluency Right Now
Even if you have everything memorized, it still may be hard to produce the near future formula ir + a + infinitive fluently in conversation. If you would like help from a native Spanish speaker, try a FREE class with us! Our teachers would be more than happy to go over some of these rules or just have a practice conversation with you. Sign up today!
Ir + a + Infinitive: Spanish Exercises
To form the near future, we use a special formula. What is it?
present simple conjugation of the verb _______ + _________ + __________________
Conjugate the verb ir in the present simple tense:
List the three uses of the near future:
Conjugate the verbs using the near future formula: ir + a + infinitive
- Ella me (llamar) mañana.
- ¿Qué (hacer) tú para tu cumpleaños?
- Yo (terminar) mi tarea después.
- Nosotros (ir) a una fiesta. ¿(venir) tú también?
- Ellos (averiguar) que necesitamos llevar a la reunión.
- ¿Qué (llevar) puesto tú a la fiesta?
- Ellos nos (decir) su respuesta mañana.
- ¿Qué (necesitar) nosotros para el viaje?
- Yo no te (decir) nada. ¡Es un secreto!
- Nosotros (investigar) más sobre el tema.
Answer Key to the Near Future: ir + a + infinitive
present simple conjugation of the verb ir + a + infinitive verb
Conjugate the verb ir:
List the three uses of the near future:
- immediate future
Conjugate the verbs in the following sentences in the near future:
- Ella me va a llamar mañana.
- ¿Qué vas a hacer tú para tu cumpleaños?
- Yo voy a terminar mi tarea después.
- Nosotros vamos a ir a una fiesta. ¿Vas a venir tú también?
- Ellos van a averiguar que necesitamos llevar a la reunión.
- ¿Qué vas a llevar puesto tú a la fiesta?
- Ellos nos van a decir su respuesta mañana.
- ¿Qué vamos a necesitar nosotros para el viaje?
- Yo no te voy a decir nada. ¡Es un secreto!
- Nosotros vamos a investigar más sobre el tema.
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