The Simple Future tense (“Presente Simple”) is a tense used to talk about future actions in Spanish. First we will study its conjugation, then talk about its uses.
Conjugation – Regular Verbs
The conjugation in Simple Future is pretty easy, for two reasons:
It doesn’t matter if the verb ends in “-ar”, “-er”, “-ir”. The conjugation is the same regardless.
We don’t even need to “cut” the verb. Each person will be built using the whole infinitive + the proper suffix for each person.
Here are the suffixes:
For example, here are the conjugations for “amar”, “ser” and “sentir”. Notice that we use the whole infinitive + the proper suffix for each person. Very easy!
Conjugation – Irregular Verbs
For the irregular verbs, the suffixes are the same as for the regulars, it’s the stem that has some change.
For most verbs it changes very slightly and it “sounds right”, you will learn them easily!
Here is a list of the most important irregulars:
The Relationship between the Simple Future tense and the Conditional tense
While you study the Simple Future conjugation, we invite you to consider the relationship between this tense and the Conditional tense (Click here to read about the Conditional tense). It is useful to see them as a “family” because their conjugation is extremely similar:
For both Conditional and Future, the regular verbs are conjugating adding a suffix to the infinitive.
If a verb is irregular in Conditional, it is also irregular in Future, and the stem changes are exactly the same (see table above).
Uses of the Simple Future Tense
We use the Simple Future to talk about events or actions that will happen in the future.
However, as you probably know, there are other tenses to talk about the future in Spanish. The most frequent one is the Informal Future, built with “ir a + infinitive”. And sometimes it is also possible, in a colloquial way, to use the Simple Present tense to talk about the future.
That means, if we want to say “Next year I’ll travel to Barcelona”, these are the 3 options:
Simple future: El año que viene viajaré a Barcelona.
Future with “ir a”: El año que viene voy a viajar a Barcelona
Future using the present: El año que viene viajo a Barcelona
When should we use each one of them? The good news: It doesn’t matter that much. Whereas the use of past tenses in Spanish is more strict, for future actions we can relax and use any of the 3 options presented above, and most likely it will sound OK.
However, the following are some cases where the Simple Future Tense fits especially well:
El Real Madrid ganará la liga = Real Madrid will win the league.
El año que viene conocerás al hombre de tus sueños = Next year you will meet the man of your dreams.
Giving orders or commands in a strong tone
For example, all the 10 Commandments of Christianity are expressed in Simple Future:
- Amarás a Dios sobre todas las cosas.
- No pronunciarás el nombre de Dios en vano.
- Santificarás las fiestas.
- Honrarás a tu padre y a tu madre.
- No matarás.
- No cometerás actos impuros.
- No robarás.
- No darás falsos testimonios ni mentirás.
- No consentirás pensamientos ni deseos impuros.
- No codiciarás los bienes ajenos.
Hypothesis (not only about future events, also about present matters)
No me imagino qué haremos en 20 años = I can’t imagine what we will be doing in 20 years.
Laura no ha venido. Tendrá algún problema = Laura hasn’t come. Maybe she has a problem.
¿Dónde estará mi boli? = Where could my pen be?
As the second part of a conditional sentence (“if this happens, that will happen”)
Si este año consigo un empleo, me compraré una moto = If I get a job this year, I will buy a motorcycle.
Si me mandas un correo, te responderé hoy mismo = If you send me an email, I will reply to you today.