Future Tense

The future tense is formed by adding the following endings to the future stem:

Pronoun Ending
je ai
tu as
il / elle / on a
nous ons
vous ez
ils / elles ont

The Future stem of Regular Verbs

The infinitive form of the verb represents the future stem for all regular verbs ending in –er and –ir.

Infinitive Conjugation
danser – to dance je danserai, tu denseras, il densera… ils denseront
choisir – to choose je choisirai, tu choisiras, il choisira… ils choisiront

In the case of regular -re verbs, the e is replaced by the abovementioned endings.

Infinitive Conjugation
vendre je vendrai, tu vendras, il vendra… ils vendront

The Future stem of Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs have an irregular future stem. These stems must be must be learnt individually as there is no rule for deriving them from the infinitive form of the verb.

Infinitive Conjugation
Voir – to see je verrai, tu verras… ils verront
Pouvoir – to be able to je pourrai, tu pourras… ils pourront
Pleuvoir – to rain il pleuvra

Usage of the Future Tense

In French (as with English), the future tense tells of an action that has not yet occurred i.e. will happen in the future.

e.g. Demain, j’irai faire des courses au supermarché, which means , Tomorrow I’ll go shopping at the supermarket.

The immediate future tense can also be expressed in one of two ways:

1.  Present tense of aller + infinitive

e.g. Je vais partir d’ici bientôt, which means , I am going to leave here soon.

2.  Être sur le point de + infinitive

e.g. Nous sommes sur le point d’atterrir, which means , We are about to land.

Nota Bene: The future tense is always used in French for action that will happen even when only implied in English.

e.g. When the house is clean, he will invite his friends over, translated in French , Lorsque la maison sera proper, il invitera ses amis chez lui.

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