Your Guide to Future Irregulars in Spanish Grammar (with Free Cheat Sheet)
Luckily, future irregulars in Spanish are one of the easiest irregularities in Spanish grammar and the process to learn them is quick!
Why do we have irregularities in Spanish verbs, anyway?
I’ll answer that along with a bit of history on the Spanish language. You’ll also learn why you don’t need to memorize all the future irregulars.
Do you know how many future irregulars exist in Spanish?
Keep reading to find out!
Near the end of this blog post, you’ll be able to solve some verb-related exercises and check your knowledge.
Let’s get started!
Why Are Some Verbs Irregular?
Most of us who’ve studied a foreign language have asked this question. One minute you feel confident about the grammar rules on conjugating verbs, and then your teacher introduces you to all the exceptions and irregularities!
So, why are some verbs irregular?
Not only do future irregulars exist in Spanish, but in different languages as well. Also, irregular Spanish verbs exist in all the other tenses (see: 20 Easy Irregular Spanish Verbs to Learn). While there’s no single answer to the question of why irregular verbs exist, we can look back on this language and its history for clues.
Irregular Verbs Are the Most Common Verbs
English linguist Arika Okrent explains that irregular verbs in all languages are the ones that we actually use more often than others. According to her, “If you take a look at the irregular verbs in [any language], they happen to be some of the ones we use the most. Because we used them so frequently, their forms were reinforced over and over again giving them strength to withstand the changes around them.”
And because people in remote times were not privy to dictionaries or language academies that standardized speech, everyone focused entirely on repeating verb forms that allowed them to be understood (not necessarily grammatically correct).
The Transformation of Latin to Spanish
You may well know that Spanish originated from Latin, which had four conjugational endings: -āre, -ēre, -ĕre, and īre. Look familiar? Over time, this transformed into the three conjugational endings that exist in Spanish: -ar, -er, and -ir. (Note that the second and third conjugation in Latin had a letter “e” of different length.)
To make a long story short, the distinction between the long and short “e” became too complicated for speakers and soon disappeared from the language, but during the process, these irregularities got permanently imprinted on certain verbs.
How the Latin “E” Affects Spanish Irregulars
If you look at the words perder (to lose) and vender (to sell), you would expect the same forms. They both belong to the -er conjugation, don’t they?
However, we say yo pierdo and yo vendo. Why? Because the first letter “e” in both words had different lengths in Latin. Short one in Latin pĕrdo, and long one in Latin vēndo.
Of all the conjugational endings, the -ar conjugation evolved without as many irregularities as the -er and -ir conjugations. As you’ll soon see in this list of future irregulars in Spanish, none of them belongs to the -ar group.
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The Future Simple Tense in Spanish
You already know that the future simple tense is one of the ways to talk about the future. As a quick reminder, let’s touch on some basic facts before we jump into future irregulars in Spanish.
The best thing about the future simple tense is its regularity.
It conjugates exactly the same in all three conjugations and all you have to do is add the same endings to the infinitive.
Regular Future Simple Tense Endings
|(yo) -é||(nosotros) -emos|
|(tú) -ás||(ustedes) -án|
|(él, ella, usted) -á||(ellos, ellas) -án|
-AR conjugation: amar (to love)
|Yo amaré||Nosotros amaremos|
|Tú amarás||Ustedes amarán|
|Él amará||Ellos amarán|
-ER conjugation: comer (to eat)
|Yo comeré||Nosotros comeremos|
|Tú comerás||Ustedes comerán|
|Él comerá||Ellos comerán|
-IR conjugation: escribir (to write)
|Yo escribiré||Nosotros escribiremos|
|Tú escribirás||Ustedes escribirán|
|Él escribirá||Ellos escribirán|
12 Future Irregulars in Spanish
Since the future simple tense is so regular, you’ll be happy to know that there are only 12 basic future Spanish irregulars:
- caber (to fit)
- decir (to say)
- haber (to have)
- hacer (to do)
- poder (can, to be able to)
- poner (to put)
- querer (to want)
- tener (to have)
- saber (to know)
- salir (to leave, go out)
- valer (to be worth)
- venir (to come)
That’s it. No more!
Of course, this doesn’t include compound forms like rehacer, predecir or reponer, but these variations conjugate exactly the same as their basic form.
Did you notice there are no -ar verbs here? Told you!
I’ll tell you something that will make you even happier. You don’t have to learn 12 different future irregulars in Spanish. They all fall into 3 different, easy-to-remember categories. You just need to learn three!
And same as in other tenses, the irregularity will occur inside the stem of the word, not in the ending.
There are three ways that the stem of the verb can change in future irregulars in Spanish:
- The stem will drop the letter –e in the infinitive ending.
- The stem will drop the letter –e/-i in the infinitive ending but will add a –d- instead.
- The stem will drop the infinitive -ce or –ec.
Let’s have a look at each one of them.
1. Forms That Drop the Letter –e in the Infinitive
You’ll only see -er group verbs in this category of future irregulars in Spanish and there are only 5 of them:
Because these verbs drop the letter –e of the infinitive form before it adds the future simple tense endings, you say sabré instead of saberé (incorrect).
Conjugation Example: Saber
|yo sabré||nosotros sabremos|
|tú sabrás||ustedes sabrán|
|él, ella, usted sabrá||ellos, ellas sabrán|
Este vestido no te cabrá.
This dress will not fit you.
Ella cambió de opinión y no habrá boda.
She changed her mind and there will be no wedding.
Podrás mudarte a América Latina cuando acabes tus estudios.
You will be able to move to Latin AMerica when you finish your studies.
¿No querrá venir a cenar con nosotros?
Won’t you come for dinner with us?
Mañana ya sabremos los resultados del examen.
Tomorrow, we will know the results of the exam.
2. Forms That Drop the –e/-i in the Infinitive and Add –d-
There are also 5 verbs In this category of future irregulars in Spanish, and they belong to both -er and -ir conjugations.
These verbs drop the –e/-i in the infinitive ending and add the letter –d- in its place before adding the future tense endings. Therefore, instead of poneré (incorrect), we say pondré.
Conjugation Example: Poner
|yo pondré||nosotros pondremos|
|tú pondrás||ustedes pondrán|
|él, ella, usted pondrá||ellos, ellas pondrán|
Pondré el libro en su lugar.
I’ll put the book in its place.
Mañana, tendrás que trabajar mucho.
Tomorrow, you’ll have to work a lot.
Saldremos a las 6 pm.
We will leave at 6 pm.
Valdrá la pena que vengas personalmente.
It would be good if you came personally.
Ustedes vendrán conmigo.
You will come with me.
3. Forms That Drop the Infinitive -ce or -ec
This will be your favorite category! There are only two verbs in here.
These two verbs (and others related to them, like predecir (predict), deshacer (undo), contradecir (contradict), etc.) drop the infinitive –ce or -ec and add the future tense ending. So, we don’t say deciré (incorrect) but diré.
Conjugation Example: Decir
|yo diré||nosotros diremos|
|tú dirás||ustedes dirán|
|él, ella, usted dirá||ellos, ellas dirán|
No me dirán cómo hacerlo, ¿verdad?
You won’t tell me how to do it, will you?
No te hará daño, te lo prometo.
He won’t hurt you, I promise.
There is an exception from this irregularity and the verbs maldecir (curse) and bendecir (bless) actually use regular forms.
Si pierdo, maldeciré mi mala suerte.
If I lose, I’ll curse my bad luck.
Mañana, el cura bendecirá la nueva escuela.
Tomorrow, the priest will bless the new school.
Spanish Grammar Exercises: Future Irregulars
Check how much you learned! Choose the correct form of future irregulars in Spanish in the following sentences.
Put the verbs in parenthesis in the correct future tense form.
- Nosotros no lo __________. (hacer)
- ¿__________ espacio para una persona más? (tener)
- __________ mucha gente en la boda. (haber)
- ¿__________ perdonarme algún día? (poder)
- Pronto __________ de aquí. (salir)
- ¿Cómo __________ yo en este asiento para niños? (caber)
- Usted __________ más sobre el tema después de terminar el curso. (saber)
- ¿Qué se po__________ndrán para la fiesta? (poner)
- Mañana te __________ la verdad. (decir)
- ¿Qué __________ para tu cumpleaños? (querer)
Click here for the answers and the translation of sentences.
Did you get all the answers correct? I’m sure you did and that now you’re an expert at future irregulars in Spanish. The only thing left to do is to practice them in conversation. Do you want to try it now? Sign up for a free class with one of our friendly native teachers from Guatemala and polish your future irregulars in Spanish with a native speaker.
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English Translation of The Sentences With Answers
- We will not do it.
- Will they have room for one more person?
- There will be a lot of people at the wedding.
- Can you ever forgive me?
- We’ll be out soon.
- How will I fit in this child seat?
- Who will make the food?
- You will know about the subject after finishing the course.
- What will they wear to the party?
- Tomorrow, I will tell you the truth.
- It will be worth a try, the risk is very small.
- What do you want for your birthday?
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