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Here’s How You Learn the Future Tense in Spanish

As you learn Spanish, expressing future actions will involve adding the correct ending to an infinitive form of the verb. Note the following example:

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           [Infinitive (protagonizar) + ending]

            (The big-handed male actor will star in a new movie. [literal translation])

            [Modal verb + Infinitive (star)]                                              

Now, how do we guess the ending for the future tense verb conjugation each time? Let’s find out.


How to conjugate verbs in the future tense

There are three different infinitive verb forms in Spanish, which are distinguished by their endings. Verbs that end in -ar belong to the first conjugation, those in -er to the second, and -ir verbs to the third. Let’s look at some examples of regular verbs:

First Conjugation (-ar)Second Conjugation (-er)Third Conjugation (-ir)
jugar (to play)Comer(To eat)Reír(To laugh)
volar (to fly)Querer(To want)Vivir(To live)
viajar (to travel)Esconder(To hide)Imprimir(To print)

The table below adds “person” and “number” to show the “future tense” endings for the three verb conjugations. Note that the infinitive verb forms (-ar, -er, -ir) are maintained along the conjugations, and the endings remain the same in all three cases.

Person/NumberConjugations for “Jugar”Conjugations for “Comer”Conjugations for “Reír”
Yo (I)jugarcomerreir
Tú (You)jugar-áscomer-ásreir-ás
Él/Ella (He/She/It)jugarcomerreir
Nosotros/as (We)jugar-emoscomer-emosreir-emos
Vosotros/as (You)jugar-éiscomer-éisreir-éis
Ellos/as (They)jugar-áncomer-ánreir-án

Here are some examples:

Note: Grabarán (will shoot) is in the third-person plural and belongs to the first conjugation, with the infinite form grabar (to shoot). 

Camera, lights, action!
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Note: Dirigirá (will direct) is in the third-person singular and belongs to the third conjugation, with its infinite form being dirigir (to direct).


Note: Tendrás (will have) is in the second-person singular and belongs to the second conjugation, with tener (to have) as the infinite form.

Note: Será (will be) is in the third-person singular and belongs to the second conjugation with its infinite form ser (to be). 

And there you have it: your Spanish-speaking future already looks brighter!


Written by Nicole Oliveira

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