When to use the future tense

An explanation of the tense that is used when talking about things that will happen in the future

The future tense is used to talk about what will happen in the future. The future tense is often used with time phrases such as:

FrenchEnglish
BientôtSoon
DemainTomorrow
Plus tardLater
Ce soirTonight
La semaine prochaineNext week
Lundi prochainNext Monday
Le mois prochainNext month
Le week-end prochainNext weekend
L'année prochaineNext year

Example:

  • la semaine prochaine, je regarderai moins la télé - I'll watch less TV next week

How to form the future tense

With regular -er and -ir verbs the following endings are added to the infinitive of the verb:

EnglishSubject pronounFuture ending
Ije/j'ai
you (informal)tuas
he/she/it (we)il/elle/ona
wenousons
you (formal, plural)vousez
theyils/ellesont

For example, endings of the future tense (with the regular verb regarder - to watch) are:

  • je regarderai - I will watch
  • tu regarderas - you will watch
  • il/elle/on regardera - he/she/it (we) will watch
  • nous regarderons - we will watch
  • vous regarderez - you will watch
  • ils/elles regarderont - they will watch

More examples with -er and -ir verbs:

  • jouerje jouerai - I will play
  • finiril finira - he will finish
  • écouterelles écouteront - they will listen

With regular -re verbs, take the final -e off the infinitive and add the endings:

  • prendreje prendrai (I will take)
  • vendreil vendra - He will sell