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French Future Tense

How to use the French future tense


The French future tense talks about upcoming events. While the French future tense has a full set of conjugations, the English equivalent is just the modal verb "will" + main verb.

   J'irai au magasin demain
   I will go to the store tomorrow.

   Ils mangeront dans l'avion
   They will eat on the plane.

The French future tense can also be used in si clauses, to express what will happen if a condition is met:

   Si j'ai le temps, je le ferai
   If I have time, I will do it.

   Je le ferai si j'ai le temps
   I will do it if I have time.

There are some differences between the French and English future tenses.

1. When the action of the verb after certain constructions* will take place in the future, the future tense is used in French, whereas in English the present tense is used. *après que (after), aussitôt que (as soon as), dès que (as soon as), espérer que (to hope that), lorsque (when), quand (when), une fois que (once):

   Quand il arrivera, nous mangerons.
   When he arrives, we will eat.

   Je vous téléphonerai dès que je pourrai.
   I'll call you as soon as I can.

2. In journalism and other factual narration, the future is often used in French even though the events are in the past.

   Né en Martinique, Aimé Césaire étudiera à Paris et redécouvrira l'Afrique
   Born in Martinique, Aimé Césaire studied in Paris and rediscovered Africa.

3. In French, the future can also be used for polite orders and requests, in place of the vous form of the imperative:

   Vous fermerez la porte, s'il vous plaît.
   Close the door, please.

To express something that is going to occur very soon, you can use the near future / futur proche.

Go on to page 2 to learn how to conjugate the future.

Test on the French future tense
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