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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Candice here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is How do I form the future tenses, and when should I use them?
There are two future tenses in French—the futur proche and futur simple. Proche means “near.” When we use futur proche, we’re talking about the near future, things that will happen soon. Conjugation is easy. We use the present tense of aller, “to go” and then add the infinitive. So the verb nager, “to swim,” becomes...
Je vais nager meaning “I’m going to swim”
Tu vas nager meaning “You’re going to swim”
Il va nager meaning “He’s going to swim”
And so on.
Here’s another example – Bon, nous allons apprendre le futur simple. It means “Alright, we’re going to learn futur simple!” To make the futur simple, we add the stem plus the ending. The verb stem for -er and -ir verbs is just the infinitive. So the verb stem for nager is nager. The verb stem for finir, “to finish,” is finir. For -re verbs, we drop the e. So vendre becomes vendr, spelled v-e-n-d-r. The endings are very similar to the present conjugation of avoir. They’re always the same, -ai, -as, -a, -ons, -ez, -ont.
But there are irregular stems which you will have to memorize. We’ll go through the most important ones now, saying the verb, its stem, a sample conjugation, and its translation -
Aller, ir, j’irai, “I will go”
Être, ser, tu seras, “You will be”
Avoir, aur, il aura, “He will have”
Pourvoir, pourr, nous pourrons, “We will be able to”
Vouloir, voudr, vous voudrez, “You will want to”
Venir, viendr, elles viendront, “They will come”
Savoir, saur, je saurai, “I will know”
Faire, fer, tu feras, “You will do or make”
Envoyer, enverr, elle enverra, “She will send.”
Use the futur proche for the near future and futur simple for things that are further in the future. If you are going to go swimming right after this lesson, use futur proche. It would be Je vais nager. If you will swim in the ocean on your vacation in Barcelona, use futur simple. Je nagerai dans la mer. Futur simple is also used in some forms, like “if” statements. But we will cover those in later lessons, so don’t worry about it now. If you use mostly futur proche when speaking, you’ll be just fine.
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!