The future tense, or in French the futur simple,
is very easy for regular verbs. This video will show you when to use it and how to form it.
The future in English is usually a compound tense; which means it takes two verbs to form it. For us,
the auxiliary (or helping verb) is “will” and then we use the regular form of the
verb. The future tense of the English verb “to speak,” for example, is “will speak.”
Side note: even though the meanings are very similar, in English there is
a difference between the future “I will speak” and the future “I am going to speak.” It’s the
same in French. By conjugating “aller” for your subject and then using the infinitive,
you are literally saying “going to [verb].” For instance, “I am going to pay,” would be “je
vais payer,” in French, which is a totally acceptable shortcut for the future tense.
However, this video explains the futur simple, which is the equivalent of
saying “will” instead of “going to”. Since this is a simple tense, and not compound,
there is no auxiliary verb; the “will” from English is included in the conjugation.
So a sentence that is 3 words long in English will only be two words in French:
I will speak is Je parlerai, there is no separate word for “will.”
Good news: the futur simple is one of the easiest conjugations to form. The steps are:
1. Get infinitive of verb. You don’t need a conjugation or to drop letters;
just the infinitive. Then, add these endings.
Do you notice anything familiar about these? Except for the nous and vous form, they are
the same as the present tense conjugation of avoir, which you probably already have memorized.
That’s it! You don’t have to find a certain form of any verb,
and your endings basically come from a verb you’ve already studied. Let’s practice.
The verb “manger” means “to eat.” Step 1, get the infinitive: couldn’t be easier. The
infinitive is right in front of us. 2. With that in the chart,
we add the avoir endings (-ai, etc.). So that gives us Je mangerai, tu mangeras,
il mangera, nous mangerons, vous mangerez, and ils mangeront.
Done! So to say “We will eat later,” would be “Nous mangerons plus tard.”
Now you try one! “réussir” means to succeed.
How do you say “I will succeed,” in French?
That’s right, Je réussirai.
That’s all there is to it. Now let’s look at the exceptions to this super easy rule. For -re verbs,
simply remove the “e” from the infinitive before you add the endings. “apprendre” means to learn,
so when we drop the e, the future conjugation chart looks like this.
Why don’t you try it with “vendre,” to sell? Get ready to drop the e,
and pause the video to give it a go. Good! je vendrai, tu vendras, il vendra.
There are 12 verbs that are straight up irregular in the future. I
like this website for conjugation reminders, it’s worth a bookmark.
Let’s do it! Avoir, être, aller, pouvoir, vouloir, voir,
savoir, falloir, envoyer, faire, tenir, venir. You just have to memorize these. [charts].
Finally, there are some verbs that are sorta irregular, but they still have a pattern.
For verbs ending in “yer,” the y of the infinitive becomes an i in the future. “Employer”
For some -ir verbs, you drop the “i” before adding your endings. Courir.
Verbs ending in -eler and -eter double their consonants in the future. “Jeter.”
Not bad! Tape m’en cinq!
Before you go, why don’t you practice translating these sentences into French?
You can pause the video to work on it, I’ll give you the answers in a second.
They will watch the game after school. [regarder]
You (tú) will be able to eat tomorrow. [pouvoir] She will do her homework later. [faire]
We will learn to speak French soon. [apprendre] I will be ready in 5 minutes. [être]
You all will have problems in the future. [avoir] The children will go to school next week. [aller]
That’s it! We’ve learned how to form the future tense in French. You can
find more language learning resources and videos like this one at lingolearner.com.