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grammar

The future tense


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 Expressing future time in French 

Rather like English, French has three ways of expressing futurity.
By using the present tense and an adverb of time relating to the future
By using the future tense
By using the verb aller (to go) combined with another verb

1.  Expressing the future with the present tense

Planned or programmed events in the immediate or foreseeable future can be expressed in French, as in English, by using a verb in the present tense combined with an adverb or adverb phrase (such as a date or time) indicating a moment in the future.
Examples:
We have exams on Thursday afternoon.
 - Nous avons des examens jeudi après-midi.
The train's arriving in five minutes.
 Le train arrive dans cinq minutes..
The new shop's opening next week
  Le nouveau magasin ouvre la semaine prochaine.
We're moving house on 3rd December
  Nous déménageons le 3 décembre


2.  Using the future tense

The most normal way to express future events in French is to use the future tense. This is like English, except for a major difference. Unlike English, which uses modal auxiliaries to express the future tense, the future tense in French consists of inflected forms of the verb, and is thus a tense in the strict sense of the word.
  For all verbs, the future tense is formed with the endings:
        -rai,  -ras,  -ra,  -rons  - rez  -ront.
Sample verb: porter
    Singular: Je porterai, tu porteras, il/elle/on portera
    Plural:  Nous porterons,  vous porterez,  ils/elles porteront

Examples:
We'll finish it tomorrow -
Nous le finirons demain

The doctor will see you in twenty minutes.
Le docteur vous verra dans vingt minutes
I know he'll succeed -
Je sais qu'il réussira.

You'll never get to Paris before midnight -
Vous n'arriverez jamais à Paris avant minuit.

They'll let you come in if you ask them -
Ils vous laisseront entrer si vous le leur demandez.

I hope you'll come -  
J'espère que tu viendras.
I don't know if you'll manage -  
Je ne sais pas si vous y parviendrez.



Other uses of the future tense.
Unlike English, French uses (or often uses) the future tense in subordinate time clauses when the main verb is also in the future.
Examples:
Do it as soon as you're ready -
    Faites-le dès que vous serez prêt

We'll tell you about it when you come.
    Nous t'en parlerons quand tu viendras .
Give me a call as soon as you get there
    Appelez-moi dès que vous serez là.

He'll know what it is when he opens it.
    Il saura ce que c'est quand il l'ouvrira.




3.  Using "aller" to express future events

Using the verb aller to express future action is particularly common in spoken French, in the same way as "going to" is a common way of expressing the future in spoken English. It is used to express immediate and/or anticipated future actions.
Forms: Je vais.... Tu vas ..... Il/elle/on va ...... +infinitive
Nous allons ......  Vous allez.......  Ils/Elles vont....... + infinitive
Examples:
I'm going to stop -
    Je vais m'arrêter.

I think you're going to find it rather difficult
    Je pense que tu vas le trouver assez difficile.
He says he's going to get a new car
    Il dit qu'il va acheter une nouvelle voiture.
The President is going to address the nation at 6.15 p.m. -
   Le Président va s'adresser à la nation à 18h 15.
I think we're going to travel via Lyon
   Je pense que nous allons voyager via Lyon.



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