Read this page, then try this practice.
The future tense in Italian is used to talk about future actions or to speculate about present events or conditions.
The future tense is formed with a new set of endings, common to all three classes of verbs ( -are, -ere, and –ire). Before adding these endings, drop the final -e of the infinitive. (e.g. drop the -e of finire.) Additionally, for -are verbs, you must change the vowel -a of are to an -e (e.g. guardare changes to guardEr before the endings are added).
Regular Verb Conjugations
|lui, lei, Lei||guarderà||scriverà||pulirà|
✽ The conjugations of -ire verbs is always the same, regardless of whether or not such a verb belongs to the -isc class (verbs like finire and capire, or not (verbs like aprire and dormire).
Irregular Verb Conjugations
There are several irregular verbs in the future. The irregularities lie in the stem (the middle part of the verb), not the ending. Once you learn the first stem change in the io form, you can easily derive the other forms. Some verbs, like essere seem very irregular; others like fare, perhaps ever so slightly. Below are a few examples. For a more extensive list of irregular verb conjugations, scroll down a little further. In this bigger chart, only the io forms are provided. Once you see the irregular changes in the io form, you should have no problem deriving the other forms as well.
|lui, lei, Lei||sarà||darà||vorrà|
More Irregular Futures
Good news about the Italian future tense: You often don’t have to use it! If you are referring to an action that will take place in the future that is planned or scheduled, you may simply use the present tense in Italian. For example:
|This weekend we’re going to study for our Italian exam.||Questo fine settimana studiamo per il nostro esame d’italiano.|
|I’m graduating in December.||Mi laureo a dicembre.|
|Marco is going to Italy next summer.||Marco va in Italia l’estate prossima.|
The future tense in Italian is necessary in the following three situations:
- to talk about events in the future that are unplanned or uncertain:
One day I’ll go to Italy. Un giorno andrò in Italia.
- to offer a speculation or supposition of present events or conditions. This is also known as the future of probability, (il futuro di probabilità).
That house must be 100 years old. Quella casa avrà cent’ anni.
- to talk about future events after conjunctions such as se, quando, and appena.
If I finish my work this evening, I’ll go out with my friends. Se finirò i miei compiti stasera, uscirò con i miei amici. I’ll be very happy when my boyfriend comes home. Sarò molto contenta quando ritornerà il mio fidanzato. As soon as the new Coen Brothers’ film comes out, I’ll go to see it. Appena uscirà il nuovo film dei fratelli Coen, andrò a vederlo.
There is another future tense called the futuro anteriore, (or future perfect). This tense is used to describe a future action which will be completed by the time a second future action occurs. It is a compound tense like the passato prossimo, formed by conjugating essere or avere in the future and then adding the past participle of the main verb. It is commonly used with dopo che, quando, and appena.
|After I have finished my work, I will call you.||Dopo che avrò finito il mio lavoro, ti chiamerò.|
|As soon as he has graduated, he’ll go to Italy.||Appena si sarà laureato, andrà in Italia.|
✽ Be attentive to these special uses of the future, so that you do not make the mistake of translating directly from English. Note, for example a crucial difference:
|If it rains Saturday, we will not go to the beach.||The second part of the sentence uses the future tense, but the verb in the “if” clause (rains) is left in the present tense.|
|Se pioverà sabato, non andremo al mare.||Both parts of the sentence use the future.|
✽ If, in Italian, you are describing a future action that you have planned (e.g. I am going out tonight), do not use a helping verb (like andare or essere), as we do in English. Rather, use the simple present. Observe:
|I am going to stay home tonight.
I am staying home tonight.
|The compound verbs in English (e.g. am staying) express the sense of a plan.|
|Stasera sto a casa.||The simple present tense in Italian conveys this sense of a planned event.|