Verbs - Simple Future Tense

 

 

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Introduction to Simple Future

(L'introduction au futur simple)

 

Bonjour ! In this lesson, we will learn about the simple future in French. The simple future tense in French is used to discuss events which will happen in the future. We can use the simple future tense to talk about any subject in the future.
 
First let us look at how the simple future is formed. The simple future is one of the easiest verb tenses to learn in French, because verbs from all groups have the same endings in common. Let us look at these endings.

“je -ai” <<I -ai>>
 
“tu -as” <<you -as>>
 
“il/elle/on -a” <<he/she/one -a>>
 
“nous -ons” <<we -ons>>
 
“vous -ez” <<you -ez>>
 
“ils/elles -ont” <<they -ont>>

As you can see, these endings look very similar to our present tense endings. To form the simple future, we generally take the infinitive form of the verb, without removing the ending, and add the ending that we need.  Let us look at some of the regular verbs in French, and how they conjugate in simple future. We will being by looking at a verb from the 1st verb group, " manger " <<to eat>>.

Simple Future of " manger " <<to eat>>

“je mangerai” <<I will eat>>
 
“tu mangeras” <<you will eat>>
 
“il/elle/on mangera” <<he/she/one will eat>>
 
“nous mangerons” <<we will eat>>
 
“vous mangerez” <<you will eat>>
 
“ils/elles mangeront” <<they will eat>>

For example, we may say " Je mangerai la pomme " <<I will eat the apple>>. The use of the simple future tense implies that this event will begin at some unidentified event in the future. Let us look at another verb in the simple future tense, this time from the 2nd verb group, " finir " <<to finish>>.

Simple Future of " finir " <<to finish>>

“je finirai” <<I will finish>>
 
“tu finiras” <<you will finish>>
 
“il/elle/on finira” <<he/she/one will finish>>
 
“nous finirons” <<we will finish>>
 
“vous finirez” <<you will finish>>
 
“ils/elles finiront” <<they will finish>>

For example, we may say " Elle finira ses devoirs " <<She will finish her homework>>. The use of the simple future tense implies that this event will begin at some unidentified event in the future. Let us look at another verb in the simple future tense, this time from the 3rd verb group, " rendre " <<to return>>. Note that we must drop the last letter -e before adding the appropriate endings.

Simple Future of " rendre " <<to return>>

“je rendrai” <<I will return>>
 
“tu rendras” <<you will return>>
 
“il/elle/on rendra” <<he/she/one will return>>
 
“nous rendrons” <<we will return>>
 
“vous rendrez” <<you will return>>
 
“ils/elles rendront” <<they will return>>

For example, we may say " Nous rendrons notre voiture à 17h00 " <<We will return back our car at 5pm>>. The use of the simple future tense implies that this event will begin at some unidentified event in the future.

The verbs from the 1st and 2nd groups generally keep their infinitive in the simple past tense, but those from the 3rd group are irregular most of the time. The auxiliary verbs " avoir " <<to have>> and " être " <<to be>> are also irregular. Let us look at the two auxiliary verbs now.

“Être” <<to be>>

“je serai” <<I will be>>
 
“tu seras” <<you will be>>
 
“il/elle/on sera” <<he/she/one will be>>
 
“nous serons” <<we will be>>
 
“vous serez” <<you will be>>
 
“ils/elles seront” <<they will be>>

“Avoir” <<to have>>

“j'aurai” <<I will have>>
 
“tu auras” <<you will have>>
 
“il/elle/on aura” <<he/she/one will have>>
 
“nous aurons” <<we will have>>
 
“vous aurez” <<you will have>>
 
“ils/elles auront” <<they will have>>

Now that we understand the basics of the simple future verb tense, let us listen to a short dialogue. In this dialogue, Brigitte is telling André that the car won't start.
 
*****
 
Brigitte : La voiture ne démarre pas.<<The car will not start.>>
 
André : J'aurai besoin de la voiture pour le travail.<<I will need the car for work.>>
 
Brigitte : Mais la voiture ne démarre pas. <<But the car will not start.>>
 
André : Je courrai jusqu’au travail. <<I will run to work.>>
 
Brigitte : Tu seras en retard. <<You will be late.>>
 
André : Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché. <<Mr. Lapointe will be mad.>>
 
Brigitte : Oui, Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché et tu seras fatigué. <<Yes, Mr. Lapointe will be mad and you will be tired.>>
*****
Now that we understand the simple future tense, let us look more closely at the dialogue.

Brigitte begins by saying " La voiture ne démarre pas " <<The car will not start>>. André responds "J'aurai besoin de la voiture pour le travail " <<I will need the car for work>>. We use the simple future verb tense to indicate that André will want to use the car in the future.
 
After Brigitte repeats that the car won't start, André says " Je courrai jusqu’au travail " <<I will run to work>>. Notice that verbs ending in -rir remove the ending -ir and double the -r before adding the appropriate ending. Then Brigitte says "  Tu seras en retard " <<You will be late>>. We use the simple future tense to indicate that Brigitte thinks André will be late to work in the future if he runs.
 
Then André says " Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché " <<Mr. Lapointe will be mad>>. We use the simple future tense to indicate that Mr. Lapointe will be mad in the future when André is late for work.
 
Brigitte says " Oui, Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché et tu seras fatigué " <<Yes, Mr. Lapointe will be mad and you will be tired>>. Again, we use the simple future to indicate two emotions, " fâché " <<mad>> and " fatigué " <<tired>>, that will occur in the future.

Let us listen to the dialogue again. Notice the uses of the simple future verb tense to indicate an event which has not occurred yet, but will occur in the future.
 
*****
 
Brigitte : La voiture ne démarre pas.<<The car will not start.>>
 
André : J'aurai besoin de la voiture pour le travail.<<I will need the car for work.>>
 
Brigitte : Mais la voiture ne démarre pas. <<But the car will not start.>>
 
André : Je courrai jusqu’au travail. <<I will run to work.>>
 
Brigitte : Tu seras en retard. <<You will be late.>>
 
André : Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché. <<Mr. Lapointe will be mad.>>
 
Brigitte : Oui, Monsieur Lapointe sera fâché et tu seras fatigué. <<Yes, Mr. Lapointe will be mad and you will
be tired.>>
 
*****
Parfait ! Now you are able to discuss the future in your French conversations. Practice will help you incorporate this very useful verb tense into your French speech. <<Nous apprendons le français!>>


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