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Moving foward with the future in French Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Grammar

There are two kinds of future tense in French: le Futur Simple and le Futur Proche. Today we’re going to start talking about the Futur Simple. It is used when you are talking about plans in the future, but nothing extremely definite, things may change. This would correspond to using “will” to express the future in English.

In French we have a conjugation for the Futur Simple: -ai, -as, -a, -ons, -ez, -ont. Here’s an example of the three conjugations in French:

1st conjugation – parler (to speak)

je parlerai, tu parleras, il/elle/on parlera, nous parlerons, vous parlerez, ils/elles parleront

2nd conjugation – finir (to finish)

je finirai, tu finiras, il/elle/on finira, nous finirons, vous finirez, ils/elles finiront

3rd conjugation – vendre (to sell)

je vendrai, tu vendras, il/elle/on vendra, nous vendrons, vous vendrez, ils/elles vendront

Here are some time expressions typically used in the Futur Simple:

demain (tomorrow), demain matin (tomorrow morning), demain après-midi (tomorrow afternoon), demain soir (tomorrow everning), la semaine prochaine (next week), le mois prochain (next month), l’année prochain (next year), mardi prochain (next Tuesday), plus tard (later), cet après-midi (this afternoon), ce soir (this evening), cet été (this summer), etc

Some verbs have spelling changes when conjugated in the Futur Simple. Check out the stem of some of them. Remember: the endings are the same!

acheter (to buy)achèter-, amener (to bring)amèner-, mener (to lead)mèner-, (se) lever (to rise/to stand up)(se) lèver-, (se) promener (to go for a walk)(se) promèner-, épeler (to spell)epeller-, jeter (to throw)jetter-, (s’) appeler (to call)(s’) appeller-, employer (to use)emploier-, essayer (to try)essaier-, nettoyer (to clean) nettoier-

And, bien sûr, we have irregular verbs! Check out the future forms of the following verbs:

aller (to go)ir-, avoir (to have)aur-, courir (to run)courr-, devenir (to become)deviendr-, devoir (to owe, to have to)devr-, envoyer (to send) – enverr-, être (to be)ser-, faire (to do, to make)fer-, falloir (to have to)faudr-, mourir (to die)mourr-, pleuvoir (to rain)pleuvr-, recevoir (to receive)recevr-, retenir (to retain, to keep)retiendr-, revenir (to come back)reviendr-, savoir (to know)saur-, tenir (to hold)tiendr-, valoir (to be worth)vaudr-, venir (to come) – viendr-, voir (to see)verr-, vouloir (to want)voudr-

In French we use the expressions aussitôt que (as soon as), dès que (as soon as), lorsque (when), quand (when) and tant que (as long as) with the Future form, not the Present, like in English. Check out some examples:

Tant qu’il ne pleuvra pas, nous irons à la plage. (As long as it doesn’t rain, we will go to the beach.)
Aussitôt que nous dînerons, nous irons au cinéma. (As soon as we have dinner, we will go to the movies.)
Quand ils iront à Rome, ils visiteront le Colisée. (When they go to Rome, they will visit the Coliseum.)
Je voyagerai dès que j’aurai assez d’argent. (I will travel as soon as I have enough money.)
Lorsque que nous nous réveillerons, nous prendrons le petit-déjeuner. (When we wake up, we will have breakfast.)
Elle aura un verre de vin quand elle finira ces exercises. (She will have a glass of wine when she finishes these exercises.)
Quando le train arrivera, tu te mettras au premier wagon. (When the train arrives, you get into the first wagon.)

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.


  1. Rosamaria Ree:

    Bob Brier is my hero.