Compared to the Spanish past tenses, the conjugation models for the future tense in Spanish seem way easier to understand. So be hopeful and confident that you will conquer the Spanish language Grammar and that a bright future awaits.
Here is our complete guide to Spanish Future Tense and its conjugation and use. Let’s begin!
Do you remember that in Spanish there are three different verbal moods? Each of the moods or modes represents the point of view of the speaker or writer.
It is used by the narrator to express what are perceived as truths or statements of facts. The indicative mood describes what will “certainly” be. (Well, since no one has a magic ball, what will almost happen for sure!)
She might fall ill or miss her train, but as we speak, the person knows that his or her mother will return from the Spanish capital city the day after.
It evokes emotions, thoughts, desires or petitions from the speaker. The «subjunctive» serves well to communicate «subjective» information.
The future tenses of the Subjunctive mood are falling into misuse around the globe. If you were to address to someone in Mexico or Spain on the street they would be surprised or maybe even wouldn’t understand what you meant to say.
So if you want to sound like a native, it is best to not use the future forms of Subjunctive mood.
That is why we recommend learning from a Spanish native speaker certified teacher. To give you all the insights of the culture you are trying to fit into!
Still, examples can be found in proverbs, legal documents, or general warnings.
“Donde fueres, haz lo que vieres.”
It literally translates to “wherever you go, do what you see.” Even so, the actual English equivalent is “When in Rome, do as the Romans”.
The words “fueres” and “vieres” are great examples of verbs conjugated in the simple future of the Subjunctive mood.
“Quien fuese sorprendido consumiendo sustancias ilegales será consignado a las autoridades.”
The notice indicates that anyone caught using illegal substances will be consigned to the authorities. However, since ‘fuese’ may sound a bit strange for the youngsters, these kinds of signposts are being replaced with the phrase ‘sea’. The meaning doesn’t change.
“Quien sea sorprendido consumiendo sustancias ilegales será consignado a las autoridades.”
It serves the speaker to plead, beg, ask, mandate, command or instruct. The Imperative mood has its own forms only in the second person of the plural (ustedes or vosotros) and the singular (tú, vos or usted). This mood is not assigned to a particular tense and is best applied to give affirmative orders.
As it was mentioned before, the future forms of the subjunctive mood are sometimes seen as archaic and therefore are being replaced with other conjugations such as this:
“A donde vayas, haz lo que veas.”
This colloquial version of the proverb “When in Rome…” is a good case in point of an imperative expressed in present tense but which action is meant to happen in the future.
Curiously, ‘vayas’ and ‘veas’ are the negative imperative forms of the verbs ‘ir’ (to go) and ‘ver’ (to see) in the second person, whilst ‘haz’ is an affirmative imperative of the verb ‘hacer’ (to do).
Therefore, it could be said that although it is grammatically incorrect this version has been widely accepted by the general population and hence it is used in everyday conversation.
If you are interested in learning more about the Spanish Commands you may want to read this post on the Spanish Imperative.
The Spanish word for ‘future’ is ‘futuro’. Pretty easy to remember!
In the chart below you will be able to quickly revise all the tenses and the moods with their Spanish names (not that you need to learn them but it’s useful to be familiarized with the terms).
|He amado||Había amado||Hube amado||Habré amado||Habría amado|
|Ame||Amara o amase||Amare|
|Haya amado||Hubiera amado o hubiese amado||Hubiere amado|
|FORMAS NO PERSONALES (NON PERSONAL FORMS)|
|Infinitivo (Infinitive)||Participio (Participle)||Gerundio (Gerund)|
|Amar||Haber amado||Amando||Habiendo amando|
The expression of the things to come, aka the future tense, in Castilian has two forms in two different moods. They are marked in yellow!
These are the simple (simple) and compound (compuesto) forms, in the indicative (Indicativo) and subjunctive (Subjuntivo) moods.
The future compound tenses in Spanish (for both the Indicative and the Subjunctive moods) are constructed with the auxiliary verb ‘haber’ (to be).
In addition, there are two other forms of the future shown in the next table, along with their English interpretations.
Be aware that the translation to English may vary depending on the context of the action within each sentence.
This is just an example to illustrate the different manners you can refer in first person to the future using the same Spanish verb, in this instance ‘llegar’, which means ‘to arrive’.
|FUTURE FORM||VERB CONJUGATION||ENGLISH INTERPRETATION|
|Simple Indicative (Simple Future)||Llegaré||I will arrive|
|Compound Indicative (Future Perfect)||Habré llegado||I will have arrived|
|Simple Subjunctive||Llegase||If I was going to arrive|
|Compound Subjunctive||Hubiere llegado||I will have arrived|
|Future Continuos||Estaré llegando||I will be arriving|
|Verbal Perifrasis||Voy a llegar||I am going to arrive|
Do not fear, the Spanish future tenses are explained in more detail hereunder. So keep reading!
We shall begin with the Spanish Simple Future of the Indicative Mood or ‘Futuro simple del modo Indicativo’. And in order to find out how to conjugate regular or irregular verbs in this tense you need to have the Spanish personal pronouns at hand.
|I||First person singular||Yo||Yo|
|We||First person plural||Nosotros||Nosotros|
|You||Second person singular||Tú/Vos||Usted|
|He||Third person masculine singular||Él||Él|
|She||Third person femenine singular||Ella||Ella|
|They||Third person plural||Ustedes||Ustedes/Vosotros|
To conjugate a regular verb in the Spanish Simple Future tense you most add the endings that are shown on the table below to the infinitive form of the verb.
|PERSON||ENDING||TRABAJAR (WORK) –ar||COMER (EAT) –er||VIVIR (LIVE) –ir|
Generally, regular Spanish verbs are grouped in three categories depending on their last two letters: –ar, –er, and –ir. But, for the simple future tense the conjugation is the same for all regular verbs, regardless of which syllables they end with.
Moreover, for irregular Spanish verbs the conjugation is pretty similar because the endings are no different. Yet, in addition, the root of each verb must be modified as is marked in red in the table below.
|ENGLISH||SPANISH INFINITIVE||ROOT MODIFICATION|
|To go out||Salir||saldr-|
Next, look at how in the following table the ending on each person is the same as those of the regular verbs shown before, but in addition the roots are changed.
|YO (é)||TÚ/VOS (ás)||USTED/ÉL/ELLA (á)||NOSOTROS (emos)||VOSOTROS (éis)||USTEDES (án)|
What are the uses of the Simple Future tense in Spanish?
This tense is ideal to express a forthcoming action, an intention or a probability; as well as to formulate rhetoric questions or ask about things which may be probable to happen in the present.
This tense is also known as “Antefuturo”, “Futuro Compuesto del Indicativo” or “Futuro Perfecto”. It is the equivalent to the Future Perfect tense in English, which is why it is useful to revise it before proceeding.
In English the Future Perfect is constructed like this:
SUBJECT + WILL HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE OF THE MAIN VERB
I + will have + arrived
Luckily, in Spanish a similar formula applies! To conjugate the verb you use the auxiliary verb ‘haber’ in its Simple Future form and then add the participle of the main verb.
Using the same phrase than the example above, “I will have arrived”, the Spanish formula would look like this:
SUBJECT + ‘HABER’ IN SIMPLE FUTURE + PAST PARTICIPLE OF THE MAIN VERB
Yo + habré + llegado
Know that in all cases it is the verb ‘haber’ which changes! Practice how to conjugate the verb ‘haber’ here.
In the table below, you can appreciate the same conjugation for the verb ‘hablar’ (to speak) for all persons. Also notice how the participle doesn’t change and how it doesn’t matter if the ending of the verb is –ar, –er, –ir.
Let’s review how to form the Spanish Past Participle:
As you may know, regular verbs can be grouped in three types of endings (-ar, –er, –ir), which then change accordingly:
Caminar -> caminado
Correr -> corrido
Reír -> reído
Though, you will have to memorize irregular verbs. For instance, ‘Morir’ (to die) is a tricky irregular verb.
A common mistake in children and people who are learning Spanish is to say ‘morido’ instead of ‘muerto’! You can practice the past participle of Spanish verbs here.
Example of regular and irregular verbs:
Uses of Spanish Perfect Future:
This tense allows us to jump in the future and look back at an action that will be completed (that is why it is perfect) at some point later than the moment of speech (now).
This tense is used to:
As it was mentioned before, the future forms of the Subjunctive Mood are not used in daily life. However, in the chart below you can see how to conjugate the simple form for each person depending on the three common regular verb’s endings: –ar, –er, and –ir.
|PERSON||TRABAJAR (WORK) -ar||COMER (EAT) -er||VIVIR (LIVE) -ir|
A popular saying in simple future Subjunctive tense is:
“Sea lo que fuere.” -> “Come what may.”
Similar to the Spanish Future Perfect the Subjunctive compound form is composed by the auxiliary verb ‘haber’ and then the past participle of the main verb.
Though, in this case ‘haber’ is conjugated in the simple future form of the Subjunctive mood.
SUBJECT + ‘HABER’ (SIMPLE FUTURE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD) + PAST PARTICIPLE
Manuel + hubiere + amado
Yo + hubiere + sabido
Ella + hubiese + adivinado
Ustedes + hubiesen + dicho
In case you need to remember, the conjugation of ‘haber’ in Simple Future Tense of the Subjunctive Mood is as follows:
Notice how the participle of ‘trabajar’ (to work) remains the same for all persons.
In this example, the event is merely an assumption (as it hasn’t happened yet and it may not even be) so it is expressed as a supposition and also as a request on behalf of the speaker.
This is the case of another hypothetical situation but within a legal framework: addressing no one in particular and illustrating what would happen if someone didn’t comply with the payments agreed by the association.
In everyday speech, there is a popular way to refer to actions or events that may occur in the proximate future using a verbal periphrasis.
A verbal periphrasis is a syntactic construction of two or more verbs that work as a single unit and semantically express aspects or modes of the action that the regular verb conjugation cannot express on its own.
An aspectual verbal periphrasis states how an action, event, or state, denoted by a verb, extends over time. In this instance, the aspectual verbal periphrasis points out to the “beginning”. Consequently, is used to specify that an action is about to commence.
The three most common types include:
The sentences designate a near future not specified (like having the baby), an immediate call to action (like going to the reception), or a circumstance that is virtually just about to happen (like washing the car).
In many Latin American countries, the formula ‘voy a’ (I am going to) is really common. To state an intention ‘iré a’ (I will go to) is more appropriate.
Remember this formula:
SUBJECT + IR + A + INFINITIVE
Yo + voy + a + comer
Yo + iré + a + correr
|PERSON||IR (TO GO)||PREPOSITION||INFINITIVE|
Practice reading the following sentences out loud:
Finally, we have the Future Continuous, also known as Future Imperfect or Future Progressive. There is no regular conjugation for it in Spanish.
Instead, it is another case of verbal periphrasis. Similar to the Immediate Future, the Spanish Future Progressive is formed with an auxiliary verb conjugated in simple future tense of the first person followed by a gerund (without nexus).
Spanish Future Progressive Formula:
SUBJECT + SIMPLE FUTURE + GERUND
Yo + estaré + llegando
The gerund is a non-personal form of the verb and thus is the same for all persons.
An easy way to remember the gerund is to think of it as the equivalent of the continuous form of the verb in English with the “ing” ending, like “remembering”. However, if you wish to revise the gerund form of regular and irregular Spanish verbs click here.
Some of the most prevalent Spanish verbs used in Future Progressive include:
As you can note from the examples above, it is common to drop the pronoun because the subject is implicit in the verb conjugation.
To review all the things that you have learned about the Spanish future tenses think of a particular scenario:
Imagine you will be late for your mother’s birthday dinner party because that evening you will be arriving from a business trip and the shuttle from the airport is rubbish.
On top of that, you will have to cross through the city at rush hour. If everything goes well, you will have had made it for the dessert! But definitively you won’t make it for the starters!
The following examples illustrate all the future forms providing different explanations that you could offer to your mother or the rest of the family when you are asked:
“Will you be joining us for dinner tomorrow?”
“¿Podrás acompañarnos mañana para la cena?”
Llegaré tarde a la cena. Mañana regreso de un viaje de negocios y tendré que cruzar la ciudad a la hora pico. ¡Deséame suerte!
I will be late for dinner. Tomorrow I get back from a business trip and I will have to cross the city at rush hour. Wish me luck!
¡Si no llegase a la cena de cumpleaños mi madre estuviese en graves problemas!
If I wasn’t going to arrive to my mother’s birthday dinner I would be in deep trouble!
Seguro, para el postre ya habré llegado. Bueno, ¡eso espero!
Sure, for dessert I will have arrived. Well, I hope so!
No lo sé, para cuando hubiere llegado estuviesen terminando su café.
I don’t know, by the time I will have arrived you will have been finishing your coffee.
I am going to be late because I have business trip and I haven´t been able to move the flight forward.
I will be arriving to the airport around six, start dining without me.
To work on Spanish future tense and beyond, sign up for our FREE Spanish Survival Crash Course and we’ll send you a collection of audio files and a workbook to practice from, along with tips and tricks on optimizing your study time.
If you are looking to get more clarity on Spanish Future Tense and learn from the experts sign up today for a free Spanish lesson at LiveLingua.com!
Let's connect you with a hand-picked native-speaking tutor today.