French grammar online

Future tense, future time

About-France.com  - the connoisseur's guide to France 
About- France home page French grammar French institutions Guide to Paris
  About-France.com, the connoisseur's guide to France 
You are  here:   France   › French grammar  ›  Verbs ›  The future
About-France.com - French grammar 

 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.
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:
    Singular: Je porterai, tu porteras, il/elle/on portera
    Plural:  Nous porterons,  vous porterez,  ils/elles porteront

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.
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.
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
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.

Copyright © About-France.com  2003 - 2019

Return to French grammar pages : index Full site index Essential French words and phrases for travellers 

 Printer-friendly page
Map of France

►► French civilisation and culture
The regions of France
Maps of France
France facts and figures
The French political system
The French economy
The French legal system
Education in France
Health care in France
Religion in France
The press in France
French art
A-Z Dictionary of France
►► Site guide
About-France.com home
Full site index
About-France.com site search
►► Principal chapters on About-France.com :
The regions of France
Beyond Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions.
Guide to Paris
Make the most of your trip to Paris; Information on attractions, Paris hotels, transport,  and lots more. 
Tourism in France
The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
Planning a trip to France 
Information on things to do before starting your trip to France..
Driving in France 
Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay....
Maps of France
Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
The French way of life 
A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
A-Z dictionary of France
Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.

Copyright © About-France.com  2007 - 2023

About-France.com does not collect any data from users. Cookies are used only to track anonymous audience statistics and to enable certain essential page functions. To remove this message, click or get more details