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The Spanish future tense: Everything you need to know

Alicia Fernández • Nov 13, 2023 • 11 minutes
Updated Jan 31, 2024
The Spanish future tense: Everything you need to know
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What are you doing this weekend? Are you going to stay home? Are you going to go out with friends? Will you travel next year?

These are common questions we may ask our friends and family. Do you know how to ask these questions in Spanish? Just like we have several ways to express the future tense in English using will + verb or going to + verb, there are also different ways to talk about the future in Spanish.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the future tense in Spanish. We’ll start with the basics: The simple future tense, when and how to use it, the conjugation of common verbs, and we will also compare it to English.

Later, we will see the Present tense ir + a + infinitive formula. In addition, we will cover how to use the present tense and the present subjunctive to talk about future events and situations, how to express wishes, hopes, and desires, and we will also cover some adverbs and time expressions.

At the end, you can check how much you learned with some activities!

¿Preparado? ¡Vamos a empezar!

Simple future tense

 In general, we use the future tense to talk about events that have not yet happened. Just like in English, in Spanish we have several ways to talk about the future. Let’s start with the Simple Future Tense. This would be the equivalent of will + verb in English, in Spanish we only need one word, a conjugated verb.

Let’s conjugate these common regular -ar, -er, and -ir verbs in the Simple Future tense:  trabajar, comer, vivir.

What makes it easy is that this tense is formed with the infinitive of a verb plus the endings that are identical for all verbs (regular -ar,-er, ir verbs), and they ALL have the same endings, easy, right?


yo trabajaré
tú trabajarás
él / ella / usted trabajará
nosotros / nosotras trabajaremos
vosotros / vosotras trabajaréis
ellos / ellas / ustedes trabajarán


yo comeré
tú comerás
él / ella / usted comerá
nosotros / nosotras comeremos
vosotros / vosotras comeréis
ellos / ellas / ustedes comerán


yo viviré
tú vivirás
él / ella / usted vivirá
nosotros / nosotras viviremos
vosotros / vosotras viviréis
ellos / ellas / ustedes vivirán
Remember that vosotros / vosotras is only used in Spain. In the rest of Spanish-speaking countries ustedes is used instead. 

So now that you know HOW to conjugate the verbs, when do we use the simple future tense? This tense is more commonly used to express probability and predictions.

Let’s see some examples:

Trabajaré desde casa el año que viene. (I will work from home next year.)

 ¿Ustedes comerán algún día en mi restaurante? (Will you ever eat at my restaurant?)

¿Estará Evaristo en casa? (I wonder if Evaristo is home.)

In these examples, the speaker is using the future tense to talk about situations that have not yet happened and also expressing uncertainty and probability: it is probable that I will work from home next year, but it is not for certain; the speaker is not sure/doesn’t know if Evaristo is home.

As I am sure you already know, there are always exceptions to the rule so there are many irregular verbs in the Simple Future tense. Don’t worry! You don’t have to know all of them, but let’s check some of the most common ones: Haber, poner, querer, saber, tener

Let’s focus on the first-person singular of the conjugations since you already know the endings for the rest, right?

Haber – habrá (this is the only conjugation; this is the equivalent of there will be)
Poner – Yo pondré (I will put)
Querer – Yo querré (I will want/love)
Saber – Yo sabré (I will know)
Tener – Yo tendré (I will have)
Decir – Yo diré (I will say)

Notice there are 3 types of stems for these irregular verbs: ones where the last vowel is dropped (querer-querr-), ones where the last vowel is replaced with a D (poner-podr-), and those where the C is replaced with R (hacer-har-).

As you have just seen, generally we do not use the simple future tense to talk about our near-future plans. So, if you want to ask your friends what they are doing this weekend or if you are talking about what you are having for dinner tonight, you will need the following formula: Present tense of the verb ir + a + infinitive.

The near future: present tense of the verb ir + a + infinitive 

This formula is similar to what we do in English. Vamos a mirar algunos ejemplos (Let’s look at some examples):

Voy a comer pizza esta noche. (I’m going to eat pizza tonight. / I’m eating pizza tonight.)

Juan va a trabajar mañana. (Juan is going to work tomorrow. / Juan is working tomorrow.)

Vamos a salir el viernes. (We are going to go out on Friday. / We are going out on Friday.)

In the previous examples, the speakers used the ir + a + infinitive formula to talk about definite plans in the near future.

Notice that in English we have a very similar formula when talking about our plans: Subject + going to + infinitive. Unlike in Spanish, in English we also use the present continuous or present progressive (I’m eating pizza on Friday) to talk about the future. In Spanish, the present continuous (Estoy comiendo pizza ahora) can only be used to talk about what is currently happening, never about the future.

Remember, we can omit the subject pronoun (yo, tú, él…) if it is clear from the verb conjugation who we are talking about. If the subject is not clear or known, then it’s necessary to include the subject pronoun or the subject we are talking about. For example:

¿Estará en su casa esta noche? (Will he/she/you be at home tonight?)

In this case, since the verb can refer to 3 different subject pronouns, it would be best to include the pronoun or the subject of the sentence, unless it has been previously mentioned. 

¿Estará Isabel en su casa esta noche? (Will Isabel be at home tonight?)

Present tense

Another way of talking about future events is using the PRESENT tense. Confused? Don’t be! We do the same in English! Let’s take a look:

El lunes ceno con mis padres. (I eat dinner with my parents on Monday.)

La semana que viene trabajo en casa. (I work from home next week.)

As you can see, both in English and in Spanish, we can use the present tense to talk about the future. So how do we know if we are talking about the future or the present if we are using the present tense? By using time expressions. Time expressions will help us a lot! Here are some common ones:

Hoy - Today
Mañana - Tomorrow
Pasado mañana - The day after tomorrow
Esta tarde - This afternoon
Esta noche - This evening / tonight
La semana que viene - Next week
El mes que viene - Next month
El año que viene - Next year
Nunca - Never
Un día - One day

Here are some examples:

La semana que viene tengo cita con el dentista. (I have a dentist appointment next week.)

Mañana viajo a Nueva York para una entrevista de trabajo.

(I’m traveling to New York tomorrow for a job interview.)

In Spanish we can use the present tense (tengo, viajo) to talk about the future. Time expressions (la semana que viene, mañana) indicate that we are talking about the future and not the present.

There are times when we express doubt, fear, hope, opinions: I hope she calls me soon, I’m afraid it will rain tomorrow, I don’t think they are coming. For this, we use the subjunctive mood. Do you remember what the subjunctive mood is? Let’s refresh your memory!

Present subjunctive

There are three moods in Spanish: imperative (orders, commands), indicative (facts, true actions, events, states), and subjunctive which is used to express opinions, wishes, hopes, fears, and uncertainty.

The present (tense) subjunctive (mood) usually happens in a subordinate clause (dependent on a main clause, does not have full meaning on its own) and it is introduced by a verb that expresses wishes, hopes, fears, desires…etc. For example:

(Yo) Espero que vengas a la fiesta. (I hope you come to the party.)

Let’s analyze this example. Espero que (I hope that) is the main clause, vengas a la fiesta is the subordinate clause which means that by itself it is not complete, it needs the main clause.

Espero is a verb that expresses uncertainty, hope, desire, wish. The speaker does not know if the person will come to the party, they are just expressing their hope and desire. Think of the subjunctive as a subjective mood, it’s all about the speaker’s feelings or opinions, but it does not express facts.

A woman hoping something will happen.

So, how do we conjugate the subjunctive? Let’s start with regular verbs first. Let’s conjugate the verb bailar (to dance) in the 1st person singular form:

1. Take the first-person singular of the verb: yo bailo (I dance)

2. Drop the O: yo bail-

3. Add the opposite vowel of the verb, so add -e for -ar verbs, add -a for -er /-ir verbs: baile

4. Add the appropriate ending for the subject pronoun: in this case, it stays: baile

Let’s conjugate leer (to read) in the 1st person plural now:

1. Take the first-person singular of the verb: yo leo (I dance)

2. Drop the O: yo le-

3. Add the opposite vowel of the verb, so add -e for -ar verbs, add -a for -er /-ir verbs: lea

4. Add the appropriate ending for the subject pronoun: in this case leamos

Remember there are verbs that have a stem-change such as querer (quiero), tener (tengo), venir (vengo). Normally, stem-changing verbs have a change in all forms except nosotros / vosotros. Make sure to review these if you forgot!

Here are two examples with the verbs we just conjugated:

La profesora quiere que nosotros leamos más. (The teacher wants us to read more.)

Mis amigas esperan que yo baile en la fiesta. (My friends hope that I dance at the party.)

Let’s analyze the second example above:

Mis amigas esperan… = Main clause (My friends hope…).

Esperan is conjugated according to the subject (Mis amigas).

It expresses a desire, hope, wish, not a fact.

que yo baile en la fiesta. = subordinate clause (…that I dance at the party.)

que is a relative pronoun that introduces or triggers the subjunctive.

Baile is conjugated in the 1st person singular, present subjunctive tense.

There are several relative pronouns that introduce or trigger the subjunctive, que is one of them. Here are others: cuando, quien, cuanto. No accent marks needed, these are NOT interrogative pronouns or question words. We will only use que in this article.

As we saw in the previous example, we use the present subjunctive to express a desire/hope about what may or not happen in the future.

Here are a few more examples using regular verbs. Pay attention to the verbs used in the main clause, the relative pronoun used to introduce the subordinate clause, and the conjugation of the present subjunctive:

Dudo que me llame hoy. (I doubt he’ll call today.)

Eloísa quiere que la visites la semana que viene. (Eloísa wants you to visit her next week.)

Espero que disfrutes de la película. (I hope you enjoy the movie.)

There are other expressions that trigger the subjunctive such as impersonal expressions, including: es importante que duermas 7 horas, es una pena, es necesario, es posible, es esencial ... among many others.

What about irregular verbs? Good news! There are only 6 irregular verbs in the present subjunctive: dar, ir, ser, haber, estar, saber. Here are their conjugations:

Dar: dé, des, dé, demos, deis, den

Ir: vaya, vayas, vaya, vayamos, vayáis, vayan

Ser: sea, seas, sea, seamos, seáis, sean

Haber: haya, hayas, haya, hayamos, hayáis, hayan

Estar: esté, estés, esté, estemos, estéis, estén

Saber: sepa, sepas, sepa, sepamos, sepáis, sepan

To help you study them, remember the acronym DISHES (the first letter of each irregular verb).
An infographic showing the conjugation for the 6 irregular verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive.

Finally, there’s a very common expression in Spanish used to talk about wishes. It’s ojalá, and it means I wish, I hope, If only. Here are some examples:

Ojalá no llueva mañana. (I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.)

Ojalá ganemos la lotería. (I hope we win the lottery.)

Ojalá puedas viajar el año que viene. (I hope you can travel next year.)

You may see ojalá followed by que, it has the same meaning, however, ojalá is more commonly used without it. Make sure you stress/emphasize the last syllable of the word [oh-hah-LAH].

Fun fact! If you like music, specifically merengue, listen to the song Ojalá que llueva café by Juan Luis Guerra. It’s an upbeat song and if you like it, it’s a great way to practice the subjunctive using Ojalá. Here’s the video on YouTube!


You made it ‘till the end! ¡Muy bien! Let’s do a quick recap before we practice what we learned.

We learned that in order to talk about the future in Spanish we use different tenses:

· Simple future

· Ir + a + infinitive

· Present tense

· Present subjunctive

We covered when and how to use them, presented the conjugations, and provided some examples. You were also able to see how useful and helpful time expressions are:

· mañana

· la semana que viene

· el año que viene

· esta noche

Finally, you learned about the expression ojalá. Ready to practice what you learned?


If you don't know any of the terms used, don’t forget to use online dictionaries. 

Here are two:



Simple future

Conjugate the verbs in the simple future. Watch out for irregular verbs!

  1. No sé si (yo) _____ (ir) a España el año que viene.
  2. Nosotros ________ (trabajar) mañana. 
  3. Él ________ (hablar) con su novia esta noche.
  4. No sé si Silvia _______ (jugar) en nuestro equipo.
  5. ¿Tú ________ (querer) venir a nuestra boda?


Answer Key:

  1. Iré
  2. Trabajaremos
  3. Hablará
  4. Jugará
  5. Querrás 

Ir + a + infinitive

Choose the correct form of the verb ir.

  1. Yo va/voy/vamos a cocinar esta tarde.
  2. ¿Nosotros vas/van/vamos a salir este fin de semana?
  3. Luis va/voy/vamos a ir al cine con sus amigos.
  4. Los estudiantes van/vamos/va a estudiar para el examen de español.
  5. Paula no voy/va/vamos a venir a la fiesta.


Answer Key:

  1. Voy
  2. Vamos
  3. Va
  4. Van
  5. Va

Present subjunctive 

Conjugate the verbs in the present subjunctive tense. Watch out for irregular verbs!:

  1. Espero que Evaristo _______ (saber) cómo llegar.
  2. La profesora desea que los estudiantes _______ (hacer) la tarea.
  3. Ojalá (tú) _______ (escuchar) lo que te digo.
  4. Dudo que (ellos) me _________ (llamar) hoy.
  5. Espero que (ustedes) ________ (tener) un buen día.


Answer Key:

  1. Sepa
  2. Hagan
  3. Escuches
  4. Llamen
  5. Tengan
Alicia Fernández
Alicia Fernández

Alicia Fernández is a content writer at Berges Institute.

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