Future Tense Spanish: 3 Easy Ways to Express the Future in Spanish

Lady wearing a virtual reality headset to understand and learn the future tense spanish while having some fun

Learning Spanish grammar is fun, isn’t it?

Trust me, learning the Future Tense in Spanish will be exciting and if you have already done the past tense in Spanish, this is going to feel like a piece of cake.

In fact:

If you’ve studied Spanish before, you probably remember the future tense. But did you know that there are actually two basic ways to talk about future events or actions in Spanish? 

Here’s the deal:

One involves combining ir a with the verb describing the future action, while the other is formed by conjugating the verb that describes the action that takes place in the future. 

Not only that:

To keep things clear in this guide, we’re only focusing on the simple forms (not the future subjunctive or the future perfect).

Are you ready to be transported back to the future tense? 

Intro to The Future Tense Spanish

Writing on a wall with the word future and a question mark to represent the future tense Spanish

It’s normal for beginners learning Spanish to struggle with understanding complex grammar, especially when it comes to tenses that don’t even exist in English.

The good news? 

Future tense Spanish is easy to understand with three tenses that are the same as their English counterparts.

Here are some examples:

  1. Simple Future (I will visit my grandparents)
  2. Ir a + Infinitive Verb (I’m going to visit my grandparents)
  3. Future Perfect (I will have visited my grandparents)

The first thing you will notice is that the above examples mean the same thing (more or less), meaning in most cases you interchange all three forms of the future tense without ever sounding completely wrong.

How to use the Future Tense Spanish?

Spanish uses the combination of ir (“to go”) in present tense + a (“to”) + an infinitive to talk about things that you’re going to do. This case is very easy, because as far as conjugations go, it only requires the memorization of ir in the present tense.

Like this:

Ir + a + infinitive

Use this tense when you’re talking about things in the near future that you have already planned or relatively sure things.

Voy a ir al cine. I am going to go to the cinema.

Keep in mind:

In English, the go-to Present tense is the Present Progressive (“am going”), so the translation looks a little different.

Simple Future (Futuro Simple)

fortune teller's hand doing a tarot reading while using the future tense Spanish to communicate her ideas.

The Simple Future (Futuro simple), is used to describe actions that will happen in the future, without indicating a specific point in time. 

Case in point:

The time frame could be interpreted as something happening in the immediate future, or something that will happen in years, even decades.

For example:

  • I will go(ir) out for dinner / Yo saldré para la cena.
  • I will buy(comprar) a new car / Yo compraré un carro nuevo)
  • We will move(mudar) to Europe / Yo me mudaré(reflexive verb and that’s why you add the “me”) a Europa.

In fact:

You can also use this tense to describe an intention or assumption related to the future, in addition to a promise or a declaration of certainty that an action will be completed.

  • I will lose 2kg by going to the gym – Voy a perder 2kg llendo a gimnasio
  • You will have more free time after the exam – tendras mas tiempo libre despues del examen
  • We will go on vacation once I save enough money – Iremos de vacaciones una vez que tenga ahorrado suficiente dinero

Finally, you can use this tense to ask questions about plans in the future.

  • Will you go to university? – Iras a la universidad?
  • Will we meet up with tonight? – Nos encontraremos esta noche?
  • Will they come to the concert? – Vendran al concierto? 

Ir a + Infinitive Verb (Going to)

Human hands holding a crystal ball to predict the future and using the future tense Spanish to do it.

We have described some situations where you can use Simple Future and Ir a + Infinite form but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it the other way round. 

Simply put:

Both of these forms are reversible and won’t have such a huge impact if you interchange the two of them. But at some places, using one of them can be more impactful.

 Let’s look at some situations when talking about decisions:

Here, when we are talking about the decisions, using Ir a + Infinitive form can be more effective as it stresses more chances of getting that thing done if we compare it to the Simple Future form:

  • Voy a comer Pizza (I’m going to eat Pizza)
  • iré a comer pizza (I will go to eat Pizza)

As we can see in the above examples, voy a comer pizza sounds more natural, iré a comer pizza is not completely incorrect.

Now let’s look at some examples when talking about plans:

This situation is opposite to the previous one that we discussed, we know that a plan is not a decision, and hence, the possibility of a plan to get executed is not 100%. 

Not only that:

Using Simple Future will sound more natural if you come up with examples such as:

  • Voy a comprar un ferrari si tengo dinero (I’m going to buy a Ferrari if I have money)
  • Compraré un ferrari si tengo dinero (I will buy a Ferrari if I have money)

The above example contrasts a plan and the possibility of the thing happening is not 100% hence, using Simple future tense Spanish will be more appropriate.

Future Perfect

Young Spanish guy touching his forehead and thinking about the future to  illustrate the use of Spanish future tense

We previously mentioned that there is a third future tense in Spanish. Though it isn’t as common as the two tenses we already explained, it’s important to understand how it works so that you can recognize when it’s being used.

Keep in mind:

This future perfect (futuro perfecto o compuesto) tense is very similar to its English counterpart and It can be used to talk about actions that will be finished at a particular point in the future.

  • Habré terminado la asignación el próximo mes – I will have finished the assignment by next month.

Or to indicate an action that we guess could have happened, but it’s not certain that it actually did happen.

  • María no está en la oficina, habrá salido más temprano – María is not in the office, she must have left earlier.

If you know how to use the present perfect tense, then this conjugation will be very familiar to you as it also uses the auxiliary verb “Haber”, plus the past participle of the main verb.

Not only that:

To use future perfect, you need to conjugate “Haber” in the future tense which is “Habra or Hanbran” depending on the pronoun, and add the past participle of the action verb.

Final Words On Future Tense Spanish

There you have it amigos:

As you learn Spanish as an English speaker, you begin to appreciate the many similar words and grammar rules between Spanish and English.

Here’s the deal:

Learning these Spanish words doesn’t have to be complicated because many of these loan words are spelled the same, and places or locations are pronounced the same way as well.

Focusing on building strong language fundamentals through regular practice in the simple present, past, and future tenses will naturally lead to greater familiarity with advanced conjugations on Future tense Spanish over time.

By the way:

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Since he was a child, Daniel has been passionate about Social Dynamics. Learn how Daniel got his start as a Language Coach, and why he decided to start this language blog. If you want to send Daniel a quick message, then visit his contact page here.

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