The Future Simple in Spanish
The future simple in Spanish (also future imperfect) is a verbal tense of indicative with which we can express predictions, promises or beliefs in the future. However, it is not the only way to talk about the future in our language. In this grammar resource you can read how to express the future in Spanish.
As its name indicates, it refers to actions that have not yet occurred (future), are not finished (imperfect) and are expressed with a single verb form (simple).
About its Origin and Evolution
Before we talk about how this verb tense is formed, let’s learn something about its origin. The future simple in Spanish is very different from the tense that existed in Latin. In our mother tongue, the conjugation was characterized by the use of the consonant -b-: amabo, amabis, amabit… However, the large number of irregular verbs made speakers start using other variants, such as periphrasis. Among these, the one that triumphed in most Romance languages was the use of the infinitive and the present tense of the verb haber. This is how it evolved:
Cantare habeo > cantar he > cantaré
Currently, the future simple in Spanish is losing power to another periphrasis that might replace it in time: ir + a + infinitive (voy a cantar).
How is The Future Simple Formed in Spanish?
As we also said about the past simple is a very irregular verbal tense. However, all of its irregularities occur in the stem, but not in the endings, which are constant in all conjugations (-ar, -er, -ir). Let’s start with regular verbs.
Conjugation of regular verbs
The conjugation of regular verbs in the future simple in Spanish is one of the easiest to learn. All conjugations share the same endings, and the stem is limited to using the infinitive.
Creo que mañana lloverá, por eso, me quedaré en casa.
Other regular verbs are: trabajar, terminar, beber, correr, escribir, abrir…
Conjugation of Irregular Verbs
The future simple is quite irregular. Despite this, we only need to worry about learning the changes that occur in the stem, because the endings remain regular.
Verbs with Change from Vowel (e, i) to Consonant (d)
In this first group of irregular verbs, the stem undergoes a change in the final syllable of the infinitive. The vowels -e- / -i- disappear and are replaced by a -d-:
Tener > teneré > ten e ré > ten d ré > tendré
Other irregular verbs in this group are:
- Poner = pondré
- Valer = valdré
- Salir = saldré
No sé si vendrán mis amigos a la fiesta; de todas formas, pondré buena música y tendremos la mejor comida.
Verbs with Vowel Suppression
These verbs, like the previous group, lose the vowel of the infinitive. However, it is not replaced by any consonant:
Poder > poderé > pod e ré > pod ré > podré
Other irregular verbs of this type are:
- Querer = querré
- Saber = sabré
- Haber= habré
- Caber= cabré
Here are some sentences with these verbs:
¿Qué querrá decir el profesor en esa frase? Seguramente mañana lo sabré cuando me lo explique.
Verbs with Vowel and Consonant loss
In this last group of irregulars in the future simple in Spanish, the verbs lose a consonant and a vowel from the stem:
Hacer > haceré > ha ce ré > ha ré > haré
Decir > deciré > d ec iré > d iré > diré
Here we can see an example:
—Creo que haré el examen DELE pronto; Ya me dirás cómo aprobaste tú a la primera.
How Do You Use the Future Simple in Spanish?
In this article we are going to explain the three most common uses of this verbal tense. However, if you want to learn more advanced uses, you can read this article from the Spanishviaskype.com blog.
First of all, the future simple tense in Spanish can express an absolute future action; that is, an action devoid of any intention, doubt or nuance. We simply oppose it to the past and present tense.
El examen será mañana por la mañana.
On the other hand, we can use this tense to express future predictions based on beliefs or opinions, but not on evidence:
Creo que en 2030 los profesores seremos hologramas.
Finally, we can also express present hypotheses, actions of which we are not sure:
Quizá mi hermano estará ahora en casa, pero ¿quién sabe?
In short, the future simple in Spanish is a tense that, perhaps, in the medium-term future, will disappear in favor of other verbal forms. However, until that time comes, we must know and master it. That is why we recommend our Spanish classes for different levels, where you can learn all the grammar with a communicative and conversational approach: you will be speaking Spanish in no time.