Unit 12: More uses of SE, future and conditional tenses

12.2 Future Tense

The future tense of regular verbs is formed by adding the endings of the present tense of haber (he, has ha, hemos, habéis, han), minus the h, to the infinitive.*


Person Singular Plural
1st hablaré I will speak hablaremos  we will speak
2nd hablarás you (fam.) will speak hablaréis you (fam. pl.) will speak
3rd hablará he/she/ you will (form.) speak hablarán they/ you will speak(form. pl. in Sp.) [fam. pl. in L.A.]

*The original tense was formed by two words (e.g., hablar he), which fused into one.

Note that all the forms of the future tense except the nosotros form carry a written accent. You need to be careful to distinguish among tenses, especially in the first person singular, in which  an accented é appears in both the future and the preterite tenses. The difference is that the future adds the ending to the infinitive while the preterite adds the same ending to the stem:

Hablé con él. I spoke with him. (preterite)
Hablaré con él. I will speak with him. (future)

The future tense is used for near-future as well as distant-future actions. When referring to near-future actions, it connotes stronger purpose or resolve than the similar-meaning ir + a + infinitive construction.

Lo voy a ayudar. I’m going to help him.
Lo ayudaré. will help him.

Various verbs that show irregularities in the preterite (and in some cases, other tenses) have an irregular or shortened stem in the future tense, although the endings are the same as for regular verbs:

decir diré, dirás, dirá, diremos, diréis, dirán
haber habré, habrás, habrá, etc.
hacer haré, harás, hará, etc.
poder podré, podrás, podrá, etc.
poner pondré, pondrás, pondrá, etc.
querer querré, querrás, querrá, etc.
saber sabré, sabrás, sabrá, etc.
salir saldré, saldrás, saldrá, etc.
tener tendré, tendrás, tendrá, etc.
valer valdré, valdrás, valdrá, etc.
venir vendré, vendrás, vendrá, etc.
caber (to fit) cabré, cabrás, cabrá, etc.

The verb caber is highly irregular. The present tense (indicative) is quepo, cabes, cabe etc. The preterite is cupe, cupiste, cupo, etc. The present subjunctive (based on the present indicative) is quepa, quepas, quepa, etc.


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