Easy Learning Italian

The future tense - Easy Learning Grammar Italian

What is the future tense?
The future tense is a tense used to talk about something that will happen, or will
be true in the future, for example He’ll be here soon; I’ll give you a call; It will be sunny tomorrow.

1  Using the present tense to talk about the future

  • Sometimes, both in Italian and in English, you use the present tense to refer
    to the future.
Il corso comincia domani.The course starts tomorrow.
Quando partite?When are you leaving?
  • In the following cases the present tense is used in Italian, while the future is
    used in English:
  • to say what you’re about to do
Pago io.I’ll pay.
Prendo un espresso.I’ll have an espresso.
  • to ask for suggestions
Dove lo metto?Where shall I put it?
Cosa facciamo?What shall we do?
  • In Italian the future tense is used after quando in cases where when is followed
    by the present in English.
Quando finirò, verrò da te.When I finish I’ll come to yours.
Lo comprerò quando avròI’ll buy it when I’ve got enough
abbastanza denaro.money.

2  How to make the future tense

  • In English we make the future tense by putting will, ‘ll or shall in front of the verb. In Italian you change the verb endings: parlo (meaning I speak), becomes parlerò (meaning I will speak) in the future.
  • To make the future of regular –are and –ere verbs take the stem, which is what is left of the verb when you take away the –are, –ere or –ire ending of the infinitive and add the following endings:
  • -erò, -erai, -erà, -eremo, -erete, -eranno For example, parlare parl- parlerò.
  • The following tables show the future tenses of parlare (meaning to speak) and credere (meaning to believe).
PronounFuture tense of parlareMeaning: to speak
(io)parleròI’ll speak
(tu)parleraiyou’ll speak
(lui/lei)
(Lei)
parleràhe/she’ll speak
you’ll speak
(noi)parleremowe’ll speak
(voi)parlereteyou’ll speak
(loro)parlerannothey’ll speak
Gli parlerò domani.I’ll speak to him tomorrow.
PronounFuture tense of credereMeaning: to speak
(io)crederòI’ll believe
(tu)crederaiyou’ll believe
(lui/lei)
(Lei)
crederàhe/she’ll believe
you’ll believe
(noi)crederemowe’ll believe
(voi)credereteyou’ll believe
(loro)crederannothey’ll believe
Non ti crederanno.They won’t believe you.
  • Note that there are accents on the first and third person singular forms, to show that you stress the last vowel.
  • To make the future of regular –ire verbs take the stem and add the following endings:
  • -irò, -irai, -irà, -iremo, -irete, -irannoFor example, finire fin-finirò.
  • The following table shows the future tense of finire (meaning to finish).
PronounFuture tense of finireMeaning: to finish
(io)finiròI’ll finish
(tu)finiraiyou’ll finish
(lui/lei)
(Lei)
finiràhe/she’ll finish
you’ll finish
(noi)finiremowe’ll finish
(voi)finireteyou’ll finish
(loro)finirannothey’ll finish
Quando finirai il lavoro?When will you finish the work?
  • Some verbs do not have a vowel before the r of the future ending. Their endings are:
  • -rò, -rai, -rà, -remo, -rete, -ranno
  • The following table shows the future tense of some of these verbs which you should learn.
VerbMeaningiotului/lei/Leinoivoiloro
andareto goandròandraiandràandremoandreteandranno
cadereto fallcadròcadraicadràcadremocadretecadranno
direto saydiròdiraidiràdiremodiretediranno
dovereto have todovròdovraidovràdovremodovretedovranno
fareto do/makefaròfaraifaràfaremofaretefaranno
potereto be ablepotròpotraipotràpotremopotretepotranno
sapereto knowsapròsapraisapràsapremosapretesapranno
vedereto seevedròvedraivedràvedremovedretevedranno
vivereto livevivròvivraivivràvivremovivretevivranno
Andròcon loro.I’ll go with them.
Pensi che diranno la verità?Do you think they’ll tell the truth?
Non credo che farà bel tempo.I don’t think the weather will be nice.
Lo sapremo domani.We’ll know tomorrow.
  • Some verbs have no vowel before the future ending, and they also change their stem, for example:
VerbMeaningiotului/lei/Leinoivoiloro
rimanereto remainrimarròrimarrairimarràrimarremorimarreterimarranno
tenereto holdterròterraiterràterremoterreteterranno
venire to comeverròverraiverràverremoverreteverranno
volere to wantvorròvorraivorràvorremovorretevorranno
  • Verbs with infinitives that end in –ciare and –giare, for example, parcheggiare (meaning to park), cominciare (meaning to start), mangiare (meaning to eat) and viaggiare (meaning to travel) drop the i from the stem in the future. For example, mangiaremang-mangerò.
Comincerò domani.I’ll start tomorrow.
Mangeranno alle otto.They’ll eat at eight o’clock.
  • Verbs with infinitives that end in –care and –gare, for example cercare (meaning to look for, to try), seccare (meaning to annoy), pagare (meaning to pay) and spiegare (meaning to explain) add an h before the future ending in the future. For example, pagarepagh-pagherò.
Cercherò di aiutarvi.I’ll try to help you.
Mi pagheranno sabato.They’ll pay me on Saturday.
  • For more information on Spelling, see Spelling.
TipYou use vero to translate will it? and vero or no to translate won’t it?
and so on at the end of sentences.
Non costerà molto, vero?It won’t cost much, will it?
Arriveranno fra poco, no?
OR vero?
They’ll be here soon, won’t they?
Grammar Extra!Will you is used in English to ask someone to do something: Will you hurry up?; Will you stop talking! You use the Italian imperative, or the verb volere (meaning to want) to translate this sort of request.
Sta’ zitto! Will you be quiet!
Vuoi smetterla!Will you stop that!

3  The future tense of essere and avere

  • essere (meaning to be) and avere (meaning to have) have irregular future forms.
PronounFuture tense
of essere
Future tense
of avere
MeaningMeaning
(io)saròI’ll beavròI’ll have
(tu)saraiyou’ll beavraiyou’ll have
(lui/lei)
(Lei)
saràhe/she/it will be
you’ll be
avràhe/she/it will have
you’ll have
(noi)saremowe’ll beavremo we’ll have
(voi)sareteyou’ll beavreteyou’ll have
(loro)sarannothey’ll beavrannothey’ll have
Sarà difficile.It’ll be difficult.
Non ne sarai deluso.You won’t be disappointed by it.
Non avrò tempo.I won’t have time.
Lo avrai domani. You’ll have it tomorrow.
Grammar Extra!In English we sometimes use will or ‘ll to say what we think must be true, for example, You’ll be tired after that long journey; It’ll be about three miles from here to the town centre.The future tense in Italian is used in the same way.
Saranno venti chilometri.It’ll be twenty kilometres.
Avrà cinquant’anni.He’ll be fifty.
Key points
  • The future endings of regular –are and –ere verbs are –erò, –erai, –erà, –eremo, –erete, –eranno.
  • The future endings of regular –ire verbs are –irò, –irai, –irà, –iremo, –irete, –iranno.

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