Spanish Future Tenses: 3 Ways to Talk About the Future
The future is an essential part of any language. It allows us to talk about things that have not yet happened, but we know they will. There are many things you can do with the Spanish future tenses, for instance:
- Talking about personal plans and intentions
- Saying who you think will win the next presidential elections
- Discuss your predictions for the finale of your favourite Spanish TV shows
These are just a few examples of all the ideas you can express with Spanish future tenses. In this article, we will discuss three main future tenses in the Spanish language and how to use them so you can take part in exciting conversations about what’s yet to come.
Table of Contents
- The Simple Future (El futuro simple)
- Going to + an infinitive verb (Ir a…)
- The Future Perfect (El Futuro Compuesto)
- How to Master Spanish Future Tenses
The Simple Future (El futuro simple)
The simple future, also known as the future tense, has two primary uses:
- Talking about future plans or actions without indicating a specific time for them. For example, "Pronto me compraré un coche nuevo" (I will buy a new car soon.)
- Making an assumption or prediction about the future. For example, "Una vez que tu hijo esté en la escuela, tendrás más tiempo"(Once your child is in school, you will have more time.)
Conjugations for the Future Simple Tense in Spanish - Regular Verbs
To form the future tense in Spanish, you need to add the corresponding endings to the infinitive form of the verb.
In Spanish, verbs tend to end in -ar, -er, or -ir in their infinitive forms.
Luckily for learners, the future endings are the same for all three verb endings!
Here are some examples of regular verbs conjugated in the future simple tense.
The three verbs are HABLAR (speak), COMER (eat), VIVIR (live).
Conjugations for the Future Simple Tense in Spanish - Irregular Verbs
Just like with English grammar, some Spanish verbs are irregular and they do not follow the “normal” conjugation patterns.
These are the ones that could give you a bit of a headache, since you will be forced to remember the different forms they can adopt.
To help you out, here are the six most common irregular verbs in the future simple tense and their conjugations:
Going to + an infinitive verb (Ir a…)
The second structure in our Spanish future tenses guide is the Spanish equivalent to “going to” sentences, as in “I’m going to remember this rule no matter what!”.
This structure is used to express:
- Decisions or intentions: ”Voy a salir adelante.” (I am going to get over this.)
- Future plans: “Ella va a estudiar medicina.” (She is going to study medicine.)
- Strong predictions: “Mira esas nubes negras.” Va a llover. (Look at these black clouds. It is going to rain tomorrow.)
How is ‘Going to’ formed in Spanish?
Now that you know when to use ‘going to’ in Spanish, you need to learn how to form it.
As we said before, the ‘going to’ form in Spanish is always "ir a" followed by an infinitive verb. Just like in English, the conjugated part is "ir" (go), so it's important to learn its conjugations.
Here's a table with the present tense conjugations of "ir". Notice how we can omit the pronoun when at the beginning of sentences.
|Voy a estudiar
(I’m going to study)
|¿Vas a venir?
(Are you going to come?)
|Va a correr
(He’s going to run)
|Vamos a salir
(We are going to go out)
|Vais a ver
(You’re going to see)
|Van a saber pronto.
(They’re going to know soon)
The Future Perfect (El Futuro Compuesto)
Are you ready to learn more Spanish future tenses?
The Future Perfect tense, also known as Futuro Compuesto or Futuro Perfecto in Spanish, has two main uses:
- Talking about actions expected to be finished at a particular point in the future. “For example: Para las 10 de la noche, habré terminado mi tarea.” (By 10pm, I will have finished my homework.)
- To express a guess about something that could have happened. For example: “Martín no vino a la reunión, se habrá quedado dormido.” (Martin didn’t come to the meeting, (literally) he will have overslept).
The Future Perfect tense is formed by combining the auxiliary verb "haber" in the future tense with the past participle of the main verb. It is called "compound" because it has two parts.
Once again, it is the first element, "haber" is the one that needs to be conjugated, and the past participle remains the same for all subjects.
Here is a table with the conjugation of "haber" in the Future Perfect tense:
Once you’ve mastered these conjugations, you will be able to speculate not only about your future but also about other people’s affairs!
How to Master Spanish Future Tenses
In conclusion, the Spanish future tenses are very versatile and can be used to express different ideas in a variety of contexts. When speaking about something that will happen at some point in the future, we use either the Future Simple or “Going To” structures. On the other hand, when talking about an event expected to take place before another moment in time (or predicting what could have happened), we should opt for the Future Perfect tense.
But, how will I remember the conjugations for all Spanish future tenses? Don’t worry: the rules will become easier with practice!
As always, remember that learning any language requires dedication and repetition - not only mastering grammar but also practising your listening skills by watching films or TV shows dubbed in Spanish as well as having conversations with native speakers whenever possible!
But, of course, the best way to master Spanish future tenses and learn how to use them in context is through genuine interaction with native Spanish speakers. At Listen & Learn, we work with native instructors who can help you reach your Spanish language goals. So if you feel like it’s time to take your Spanish to the next level, why not sign up for a Spanish online course with us? You won’t regret it!
Good luck and see you in class! ¡Hasta pronto! (See you soon!)