In this lesson I’m going to show you the absolute easiest way to talk about the future in Spanish, in other words, how to express the future tense. As you’ll see on the video, there’s the hard way and a much easier way to do this.
Hi, it’s Paul from lets-learn-spanish.com and in this short video I’m going to show you the absolute easiest way to express the future tense in Spanish.
So there’s actually two ways to talk about the future in Spanish. The first way is to conjugate each individual verb and this is actually the hardest way.
So as an example, if we take the verb “hablar” which means to speak then we tag on little endings onto the ending of the full verb in order to express the future tense.
Hablaré would be I will speak
Hablarás – you will speak
Hablará – he/she/it will speak
Hablarémos – we will speak
Hablarán – They will speak
Another example could be if we take the verb “comer” which means to eat, and we tag on the exact same endings onto the end of the verb in order to express the future.
Comeré – I will eat
Comerás – you will eat
Comerá – he/she/it will eat
Comerémos – we will eat
Comerán – they will eat
and so on.
So when you see it written out like that it actually looks very logical and easy but if you’re just learning Spanish and you’re trying to express yourself in the real world when the pressure is on then there’s actually quite a lot of grammatical thinking that you have to do.
First of all you have to conjugate each verb individually as I’ve just shown you and secondly you have to change the way you say or pronounce the word and put an accent on the final push of it.
So that actually gives you quite a lot of grammatical thinking to do and the more thinking you have to do grammatically the slower your Spanish is going to be, the less fluent you’re going to be able to speak.
Now in English we can express the future by using “going to”, for example
- I’m going to speak
- I’m going to go there
- I’m going to see her
- They are going to buy it
And luckily in Spanish we can do the exact same thing, all you have to do is learn the following.
These are 5 handles which will allow you to transform any verb in Spanish immediately into the future tense.
Voy a – I am going to
Vas a – you are going to
va a – he/she/it is going to
vamos a – we are going to
van a – they are going to
Now with those five handles all you have to do is put a verb in front of them, the full verb – the infinitive, and you’ll immediately be in the future tense.
So let’s go back to our first example here of “hablar” which means to speak.
So if I wanted to say “I’m going to speak” I would simply say “voy a” for “I’m going to” and then add the verb “hablar”.
“Voy a hablar” means “I’m going to speak”
“Vas a hablar” would be “You’re going to speak”
He, she or it is going to speak – Va a hablar
“We are going to speak” would be “Vamos a hablar”
“They are going to speak” – “Van a hablar”
Now the important thing to notice here is that I didn’t have to conjugate the verb. I left “hablar” as it was, I didn’t touch it, all I did was put one of the five handles in front of it and I was immediately able to express the verb in the future tense.
Here we have the second example which we looked at which was “comer”, to eat.
And you can see that you put the same five handles in front of it and you can leave the verb exactly as it is
I’m going to eat – voy a comer
You’re going to eat – vas a comer
He/she/it is going to eat – va a comer
We are going to eat – vamos a comer
They are going to eat – van a comer
Let’s take another verb, “limpiar” which is “to clean”
I’m going to clean – voy a limpiar
You’re going to clean – vas a limpiar
He/she/it is going to clean – va a limpiar
We are going to clean – vamos a limpiar
They are going to clean – van a limpiar
So let’s recap on exactly what we’ve just learned to do
This simple equation will allow you to instantly express any verb in the future tense in Spanish.
All you have to learn is
- voy a
- vas a
- va a
- vamos a
- van a
then whatever full verb you put in front of that, you don’t have to conjugate it at all, you’ll immediately get the future tense.
So my final advice is this
To make certain you really ‘get this’ and to make it second nature to the point where you won’t even have to think about it whenever you’re speaking Spanish the first thing to do is to memorize those handles, the conjugation of “IR” (to go). So that is what you’ve already learned (voy a, vas a, va a, vamos a and van a).
Then take a list of 50 or 100 verbs and randomly test yourself on how you would express them in the future tense using those handles.
Now I’ve actually gone ahead and done this for you already. You can simple visit the link below in the description box and take the test that I’ve prepared for you.
If you can pass the test you’ll prove to yourself that you’ve really understood what I’ve taught to you over the last few minutes and then you’ll be able to immediately implement it into your own spoken Spanish.
All of this means nothing unless you take what you’ve learned and practice it to the point of perfection. It will only be of real use to you once you’ve made it second nature. That way when you’re speaking Spanish in front of real people and the pressure is on you’ll be able to fluently express yourself when it comes to talking about the future instead of “umming and ahhing” as your mind struggles with grammatical doubts and difficulties!
Don’t proceed to this test until you’ve thoroughly memorized how to conjugate IR.
1. Mirar = To Look
How would say “I’m going to look”
2. Pintar = To Paint
Say “We are going to paint”
3. Recordar = To Remember
Say “You are going to remember” (you informal/friend)
4. Contar = To Count
Say “They are going to count”
5. Cocinar = To Cook
Say “I’m going to cook”
6. Comprar = To Buy
Say “We’re going to buy”
7. Cenar = To Have Dinner
Say “You are going to have dinner?” (you informal/friend)
8. Aprender – To Learn
Say “We are going to learn”
9. Firmar = To Sign
Say “They’re going to sign”
10. Inmigrar = To Immigrate
Say “Are we going to immigrate?”
Click the link to open an MP3 file with the recorded answers. Opens in a new window.
Watch it on YouTube: Learn Spanish