Le Futur

February 21, 2012 § 1 Comment

In English when we’re talking about an action in the future, we add the modal verb “will” (ex. On Tuesday we will go swimming.)  In French, they put the verb in the future tense. 

Clues or prompts about putting the verb in the future tense can be
*after the time expressions, quand, lorsque, dès que, and aussitôt que
*the future can also be used to emphasize a command, “you WILL do this”
*in an “if then” phrase, the “if” phrase is in present, and the “then” phrase will be in future
Si Fred réussit à l’examen, son père sera fier de lui.

The future tense is super easy.  All you have to do is remember the future stem of the verb, and add the future endings.

1.  to form the future stem of regular verbs

a. for ER verbs, use the infinitive

b.  for IR verbs, use the infinitive

c.  for RE verbs, drop the E

d.  for irregular verbs, memorize them

2.  the endings

je – ai       nous – ons

tu – as       vous – ez

   il – a           ils – ont

We will finish it tomorrow.  On le finira à demain.
I will go to bed early tonight. Je me coucherai de bonne heure ce soir.
They’ll wait for us. Ils nous attendront.

3.  Irregular infinitives and their future stems

Infinitive Future Stem
être ser
aller ir
avoir aur
faire fer
savoir saur
pouvoir pourr
vouloir voudr
devoir devr
recevoir recevr
venir* viendr
voir verr
envoyer enverr
appeler appeller*
acheter achèter*
essayer essaier*

* the asterisked verbs show the pattern / rule for all the verbs in that particular verb family.

4. Verbs such as lire, dire, écrire, boire, croire, conduire verbs, éteindre verbs, mettre verbs, prendre verbs, and suivre verbs, treat them like regular RE verbs in the future tense.

5. Some impersonal phrases in future tense;
il faut – it is necessary becomes il faudra – it will be necessary
il vaut – it is worth becomes il vaudra – it will be worth
il pleut – it’s raining becomes il pleuvra – it will rain

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