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Learning French Tenses:

FUTURE TENSE
This learning guide is divided into different
parts with a quick summary after each topic.
1)

WHAT IS FUTURE TENSE?

• In English
- Future Progressive Tense
• In French
2) USING THE FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH
3) RULES ON HOW TO FORM THE FUTURE TENSE
•

Rules for regular verbs with –er and –ir endings

•

Rules for regular verbs with –re endings

•

Rules for irregular verbs
WHAT IS FUTURE TENSE?
The future tense is a verb tense that we
use it to talk about something that will
happen in the future, or something that
will be true.

F
U
T
U
R
E
T
E
N
S
E
FUTURE TENSE IN ENGLISH

The future tense in English can be
identified with the word 'will' or 'shall'
that comes before the verb. It can also
appear with its shortened form 'll.
Examples:
What will you do?
What shall we do?
I'll think of something.

E
N
G
L
I
S
H
FUTURE PROGRESSIVE TENSE
English also has progressive forms of the future tense which is used to
indicate something that will be happening in the future. It is formed
by using 'will' or 'shall' together with 'be' and the present participle of
the verb.
Examples:
What will you be doing then?
I'll be running at the park.
He will be asking her out on a date.
The word 'going to' followed by a verb is used to say something that
will happen in the near future.
Examples:
I am going to eat a sandwich.
He is going to attend the meeting.

P
R
O
G
R
E
S
S
I
V
E
FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH
• French future tenses do not use an equivalent of the English word
'will' or 'shall' to indicate a future event. Instead, the ending of the
verb is changed to make it into a one-word form of the future tense.
• Just like in English, the present tense can also be used to tell
something that hasn't happened yet.
Example:
Je prends le train de neuf heures. (I'm taking the nine o'clock train.)
• French also uses an equivalent of the English 'going to' to talk about
something that will happen in the near future. For this, the verb
aller (which means 'to go') followed by a verb is being used.
Example:
Tu vas tomber si tu continues. (You're going to fall if you carry on.)
Il va manquer le train. (He's going to miss the train.)

F
R
E
N
C
H
USING FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH

•In simple statements or informal speech, French
often uses the present tense to tell something that's
going to happen in a close future. This happens by
using the commonly used verb aller. (example: je vais
revenir (I'm going to come back.)
•In formal language such as in journalism or in
narration of factual events, the future tense is often
used.
•It can also be used in making polite requests.

F
R
E
N
C
H
•The French future tense is often used
with these words:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

demain (tomorrow)
ce soir (tonight)
la semaine prochaine (next week)
le mois prochain (next month)
le week-end prochain (next weekend)
l'année prochaine (next year)
plus tard (later)
bientôt (soon)

F
R
E
N
C
H
RULES ON HOW TO FORM
THE FUTURE TENSE

•Most verbs in the future tense consist of this
format: the infinitive (or the regular form of the
verb) + an ending similar to that of the present
tense of avoir (have) – -ai,-as,-a,-ons,-ez,-ont.

•It is formed with a “future stem” which is basically
similar to the infinitive, combined with an ending
that is dependent on the subject.

R
U
L
E
S
Some examples: donner (to give), finir (to finish), and attendre (to wait)
Pronoun

Ending

Add to “future stem”

What it means

je (j')

-ai

je donnerai
je finirai
j'atendrai

I will give
I will finish
I will wait

tu

-as

tu donneras
tu finiras
tu attendras

you will give
you will finish
you will wait

il
elle
on

-a

il/elle/on donnera
il/elle/on finira
il/elle/on attendra

he/she/it/one will give
he/she/it/ one will finish
he/she/it/one will wait

nous

-ons

nous donnerons
nous finirons
nous attendrons

we will give
we will finish
we will wait

vous

-ez

vous donnerez
vous finirez
vous attendrez

you will give
you will finish
you will wait

ils
elles

-ont

ils/ elles donneront
ils/ elles finiront
ils/ elles attendront

they will give
they will finish
they will waitje

Quick tip: je is shortened to j' when preceding a word that begins with a vowel, h, or the
French word y.
Rules for regular verbs with –er and –ir endings
The simplest of the verbs, all you have to do is use the
infinitive form and add the correct ending. Examples are
such as the ones used above for donner and finir.
Some changes in spelling for the future stem of regular -er
verbs:
•The consonant 'l' and 't' in those verbs which end in -eler
and -eter gets doubled. For example: appeler becomes
appeller, while jeter becomes jetter. The pronunciation of
the first letter e also changes from 'uhr' to 'eh'. Exceptions
are the words geler (to freeze), peler (to peel) and acheter
(to buy).
•For verbs that end in -yer, the y often becomes i when
used in the future tense. For example: nettoyer (to clean)
becomes nettoier.

R
U
L
E
S
Rules for regular verbs with -re endings
For this kind of verbs, the formula is simple:
remove the last letter e, and add the
appropriate ending.

R
U
L
E
S
Rules for irregular verbs
Just like always, there are sets of words which simply refuse to
follow the rules. These irregular verbs are, of course, also
present in the French future tense.
There are around more than twenty verbs with irregular future
stems. But don't worry because no matter how irregular these
verbs are, they still make use of the same endings.
Here are some examples:
The verb avoir becomes aurai, auras, aura, aurons, aurez, auront
The verb être becomes serai, seras, sera, serons, serez, seront
The verb faire becomes ferai, feras, fera, ferons, ferez, feront
The verb aller becomes irai, iras, ira, irons, irez, iront
Quick Recap
1.In informal speech and simple statements, the present
tense can be used to talk about a future event.
2.The verb aller (which means to go) can be used in
sentences that talk about what will happen in the
immediate future. This is similar to the English use of “going
to” (e.g. I'm going to clean the room.)
3.For regular verbs ending in -er, -ir and, -re, the future stem
is the same as the infinitive but the last -e in -re endings are
removed.
4.The future tense endings are -ai, -as, -a, ons, ez, -ont and
it is dependent on the subject.

R
E
V
I
E
W
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French future tenses

  • 2. This learning guide is divided into different parts with a quick summary after each topic. 1) WHAT IS FUTURE TENSE? • In English - Future Progressive Tense • In French 2) USING THE FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH 3) RULES ON HOW TO FORM THE FUTURE TENSE • Rules for regular verbs with –er and –ir endings • Rules for regular verbs with –re endings • Rules for irregular verbs
  • 3. WHAT IS FUTURE TENSE? The future tense is a verb tense that we use it to talk about something that will happen in the future, or something that will be true. F U T U R E T E N S E
  • 4. FUTURE TENSE IN ENGLISH The future tense in English can be identified with the word 'will' or 'shall' that comes before the verb. It can also appear with its shortened form 'll. Examples: What will you do? What shall we do? I'll think of something. E N G L I S H
  • 5. FUTURE PROGRESSIVE TENSE English also has progressive forms of the future tense which is used to indicate something that will be happening in the future. It is formed by using 'will' or 'shall' together with 'be' and the present participle of the verb. Examples: What will you be doing then? I'll be running at the park. He will be asking her out on a date. The word 'going to' followed by a verb is used to say something that will happen in the near future. Examples: I am going to eat a sandwich. He is going to attend the meeting. P R O G R E S S I V E
  • 6. FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH • French future tenses do not use an equivalent of the English word 'will' or 'shall' to indicate a future event. Instead, the ending of the verb is changed to make it into a one-word form of the future tense. • Just like in English, the present tense can also be used to tell something that hasn't happened yet. Example: Je prends le train de neuf heures. (I'm taking the nine o'clock train.) • French also uses an equivalent of the English 'going to' to talk about something that will happen in the near future. For this, the verb aller (which means 'to go') followed by a verb is being used. Example: Tu vas tomber si tu continues. (You're going to fall if you carry on.) Il va manquer le train. (He's going to miss the train.) F R E N C H
  • 7. USING FUTURE TENSE IN FRENCH •In simple statements or informal speech, French often uses the present tense to tell something that's going to happen in a close future. This happens by using the commonly used verb aller. (example: je vais revenir (I'm going to come back.) •In formal language such as in journalism or in narration of factual events, the future tense is often used. •It can also be used in making polite requests. F R E N C H
  • 8. •The French future tense is often used with these words: • • • • • • • • demain (tomorrow) ce soir (tonight) la semaine prochaine (next week) le mois prochain (next month) le week-end prochain (next weekend) l'année prochaine (next year) plus tard (later) bientôt (soon) F R E N C H
  • 9. RULES ON HOW TO FORM THE FUTURE TENSE •Most verbs in the future tense consist of this format: the infinitive (or the regular form of the verb) + an ending similar to that of the present tense of avoir (have) – -ai,-as,-a,-ons,-ez,-ont. •It is formed with a “future stem” which is basically similar to the infinitive, combined with an ending that is dependent on the subject. R U L E S
  • 10. Some examples: donner (to give), finir (to finish), and attendre (to wait) Pronoun Ending Add to “future stem” What it means je (j') -ai je donnerai je finirai j'atendrai I will give I will finish I will wait tu -as tu donneras tu finiras tu attendras you will give you will finish you will wait il elle on -a il/elle/on donnera il/elle/on finira il/elle/on attendra he/she/it/one will give he/she/it/ one will finish he/she/it/one will wait nous -ons nous donnerons nous finirons nous attendrons we will give we will finish we will wait vous -ez vous donnerez vous finirez vous attendrez you will give you will finish you will wait ils elles -ont ils/ elles donneront ils/ elles finiront ils/ elles attendront they will give they will finish they will waitje Quick tip: je is shortened to j' when preceding a word that begins with a vowel, h, or the French word y.
  • 11. Rules for regular verbs with –er and –ir endings The simplest of the verbs, all you have to do is use the infinitive form and add the correct ending. Examples are such as the ones used above for donner and finir. Some changes in spelling for the future stem of regular -er verbs: •The consonant 'l' and 't' in those verbs which end in -eler and -eter gets doubled. For example: appeler becomes appeller, while jeter becomes jetter. The pronunciation of the first letter e also changes from 'uhr' to 'eh'. Exceptions are the words geler (to freeze), peler (to peel) and acheter (to buy). •For verbs that end in -yer, the y often becomes i when used in the future tense. For example: nettoyer (to clean) becomes nettoier. R U L E S
  • 12. Rules for regular verbs with -re endings For this kind of verbs, the formula is simple: remove the last letter e, and add the appropriate ending. R U L E S
  • 13. Rules for irregular verbs Just like always, there are sets of words which simply refuse to follow the rules. These irregular verbs are, of course, also present in the French future tense. There are around more than twenty verbs with irregular future stems. But don't worry because no matter how irregular these verbs are, they still make use of the same endings. Here are some examples: The verb avoir becomes aurai, auras, aura, aurons, aurez, auront The verb être becomes serai, seras, sera, serons, serez, seront The verb faire becomes ferai, feras, fera, ferons, ferez, feront The verb aller becomes irai, iras, ira, irons, irez, iront
  • 14. Quick Recap 1.In informal speech and simple statements, the present tense can be used to talk about a future event. 2.The verb aller (which means to go) can be used in sentences that talk about what will happen in the immediate future. This is similar to the English use of “going to” (e.g. I'm going to clean the room.) 3.For regular verbs ending in -er, -ir and, -re, the future stem is the same as the infinitive but the last -e in -re endings are removed. 4.The future tense endings are -ai, -as, -a, ons, ez, -ont and it is dependent on the subject. R E V I E W
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