Passer au contenu principal

THE FUTURE (le futur)

As its name indicates, the future tense is used to refer to events that will take place in the future. Unlike in English, where you use the auxiliaries 'will' or 'shall', the future in French is indicated by a certain ending that is added to the stem (which is very often the infinitive form of the verb). Note that the stem is the same for the conditional and the future, so it is the ending that will indicate whether the verb is in the future or in the conditional.

The stem of the regular verb in the future or in the conditional is its infinitive for -er ,-ir verb and -re verbs but note that the final -e of -re verbs is dropped. Unfortunately, a lot of the most common verbs have an irregular stem. You should therefore devote some time to learn them so as to save time later on:

avoir to have aur-

être to be ser-

aller to go ir-

faire to do, to make fer-

venir to come viendr-

tenir to hold tiendr-

pouvoir to be able pourr-

vouloir to want voudr-

voir to see verr-

savoir to know saur-

devoir to have to; to owe devr-

falloir to be necessary faudr-

valoir to be worth vaudr-

The endings for the future are as follow: -ai, -as,-a, -ons, -ez, -ont.

Please keep in mind that whatever the stem, the letter 'r' is always present before the future's endings, but that this does not mean that all verbs ending with that pattern will be in the future (they could, for instance, belong to the past historic or the present tense).

Click here to see an illustration of this