Written by Fred Cox
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 10:22
Good news! Speaking Spanish in the future is a relatively easy area to learn.
There are at least three ways to express the future in Spanish. The most straightforward being the use of the present tense to imply the future. The drawback with this method is that it is limited. When referring to the future, you can’t always imply it. Look at these examples being spoken in the present but implying the future:
They arrive at 3pm. – Llegan a las tres de la tarde.
You leave tomorrow? - ¿Se va mañana?
Yes, I leave tomorrow and return on Monday. – Sí, me voy mañana y regreso el lunes.
As you can see all verbs are conjugated in the present and refer to the future. In case you are wondering why there is a “se” in front va (Ir) and a “me” in front of voy (Ir), it is because when you say “to leave” in Spanish the verb Ir is reflexive (Irse). We can talk about reflexive verbs in another article.
The second way is probably used most often. Using the various conjugations of “Ir” in the present (to go) followed by an “a” and then an infinitive, we can ask or say what is GOING to happen.
I am going to Panamá next week. – Voy a Panamá la semana que viene (proxima).
Are you going to do that today? – ¿Va a hacer eso hoy?
We are going to eat dinner at the Coronado hotel tonight. – Vamos a cenar en el hotel Coronado esta noche.
Are they going to teach Spanish to the class? ¿Van a enseñar(le) español a la clase?
What is going to happen? – ¿Qué va a pasar?
Is it going to be expensive? - ¿Va a ser caro?
Are they going to be at the party? – ¿Van a estar en la fiesta?
You can see it’s not too difficult to use Ir to express the future. But you need to have a good handle on conjugating Ir in the present, and know a fair amount of infinitives.
Next time we will talk about the actual future tense. Knowing a lot of infinitives will help in this tense as well.
Tip of the Day
A really good book to have in your Spanish library is “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish” by Margarita Madrigal. Published by Broadway Books, New York, this book gives a great introduction into a lot of areas of Spanish. It is the one I started out with and I still refer to it occasionally (recommended by my teacher here in the States). It is the same book you see me holding in the picture with these articles.
Hope this helps!
Hi, my name is Fred. My background in Spanish is a year in high school
(long ago) and the last five years taking private lessons almost daily, in
the States and in Panamá'. I am not yet fluent, but maybe I can pass on
to you some tips to help your Spanish learning experience.
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2010 09:44