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futur i Tense in German Grammar

How to use German futur i 

Introduction

The future tense I is most commonly used in German to express assumptions about the present or future. We can also use this tense to describe future intentions, although in spoken German it is more common to use the present tense for this purpose. We can translate the future tense I with the English tenses: simple present or future with will or going to.

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German Futur I (Future I) is a verb tense used to express future actions and events. It's a relatively simple tense to form and is often used in spoken and written German for future plans, intentions, predictions, and assumptions.

 

To use Futur I in German, follow these steps:

1. Select the Appropriate Verb: Choose the verb you want to use in the future tense. German verbs can be categorised into strong (irregular) and weak (regular) verbs. The conjugation will depend on the type of verb.

2. Identify the Correct Verb Stem: For regular verbs (weak verbs), the verb stem is the infinitive form of the verb without the "-en" ending. For irregular verbs (strong verbs), you'll need to memorise the verb stem, as they don't follow a consistent pattern.

3. Add the Appropriate Futur I Ending: The endings for Futur I are the same for all regular verbs. For weak verbs, you simply add these endings to the verb stem:

  • ich werde (I will)

  • du wirst (you will)

  • er/sie/es wird (he/she/it will)

  • wir werden (we will)

  • ihr werdet (you will)

  • sie/Sie werden (they/you formal will)

4. Attach the Infinitive Form of the Verb: After adding the appropriate ending, attach the infinitive form of the verb (the base form of the verb) to create the complete Futur I tense.

Here are some examples:

  • Regular (Weak) Verb ("sprechen" - to speak): "Ich werde sprechen." (I will speak.)

  • Irregular (Strong) Verb ("gehen" - to go): "Du wirst gehen." (You will go.)

Common Uses of Futur I:

  1. Expressing Future Intentions: Futur I is often used to express plans or intentions for the future.

    Example: "Ich werde morgen ins Kino gehen." (I will go to the cinema tomorrow.)

  2. Making Predictions: It can be used to make predictions or assumptions about future events.

    Example: "Der Zug wird pünktlich ankommen." (The train will arrive on time.)

  3. Offering Polite Requests: Futur I can be used to make polite requests about future actions.

    Example: "Würden Sie mir bitte helfen?" (Would you please help me?)

  4. Giving Advice: It's used to give advice or suggestions in a polite manner.

    Example: "Du solltest mehr Wasser trinken." (You should drink more water.)

German Futur I is a versatile tense and is commonly used in everyday conversation. Learning how to form it correctly will help you express future actions and intentions effectively in German.

Usage

We use the German future tense to indicate:

  • a future intention

    Example:

    Morgen werde ich das Haus aufräumen.

  • an assumption about the future

    Example:

    Das wirst du nicht an einem Tag schaffen.

  • an assumption about the present

    Example:

    Sein Haus wird wohl immer noch so unaufgeräumt aussehen.

Quick Tip for Using German Futur I:

When forming sentences in Futur I, remember that you don't need to rely solely on time indicators like "morgen" (tomorrow) or "nächstes Jahr" (next year) to indicate future actions. The Futur I tense itself already implies a future timeframe. So, while you can certainly include time indicators, you can also use Futur I without them for a more concise and natural expression of future plans or intentions.

For example, instead of saying, "Ich werde morgen ins Kino gehen" (I will go to the cinema tomorrow), you can simply say, "Ich werde ins Kino gehen" (I will go to the cinema), and it's understood that the action is in the future. This is a common practice in conversational German and makes your sentences flow more smoothly.

Conjugation of German verbs in the futur i

To conjugate verbs in the future tense, we require the finite form of werden and the infinitive form of the full verb.

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important

We often emphasise assumptions by using words like:  wohl, likely/probably, sicher, surely, bestimmt, certainly. As these words clearly show that it is an assumption, we can also use the present tense here.

Example:

Es wird wohl schon spät sein. = Es ist wohl schon spät. It will probably already be late. = It's probably already late.

Er wird sicher keine Zeit haben. = Er hat sicher keine Zeit. He will surely not have time. = He surely does not have time.

Sie wird bestimmt zu Hause sein. = Sie ist bestimmt zu Hause. She will certainly be at home. = She is certainly at home.

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