1. Education
Italian Language Lessons
Grammar, spelling, and usage

Italian Future Tense
Workbook Exercises About This Topic
Printer–Friendly Version

Tomorrow you will prepare pasta puttanesca. Saturday you will buy that Italian leather jacket you've been thinking about. Next year you will learn the future tense. Che sarà, sarà—what will be, will be! The future tense in Italian expresses an action that will take place in the future. Although in English the future is expressed with the helping verb "will" or the phrase "to be going to," in Italian a verb ending marks it as being set in the future tense. For example:

Alla fine di settembre partirò per Roma. (At the end of September I will leave for Rome.)

First-Conjugation Verbs
The future tense (futuro semplice) of first-conjugation regular (-are) verbs is formed first by changing the infinitive ending -are into -er to obtain the root for the future tense. The following future endings are then added to the root: , -ai, , -emo, -ete, -anno. (The following table includes a sample conjugation of the verb cantare.)

FUTURE TENSE CONJUGATION OF CANTARE
PERSONSINGULARPLURAL
I(io) canterò(noi) canteremo
IItu canterai(voi) canterete
III(lui, lei, Lei) canterà(loro, Loro) canteranno

Second- and Third-Conjugation Verbs
The future tense of regular second- and third-conjugation (-ere and -ire) verbs is formed by simply dropping the final -e of the infinitive to obtain the stem and adding to the stem the following future endings: , -ai, , -emo, -ete, -anno (the same endings, in fact, as those added to the first-conjugation group). For a sample conjugation, see the table below, which conjugates the verbs credere and partire.

FUTURE TENSE CONJUGATIONS OF CREDERE AND PARTIRE
PERSONSINGULARPLURAL
I(io) crederò, partirò(noi) crederemo, partiremo
II(tu) crederai, partirai(voi) crederete, partirete
III(lui, lei, Lei) crederà, partirà(loro, Loro) crederanno, partiranno

Future Tense of Irregular Verbs
In the future tense, the verbs dare, stare, and fare simply drop the final -e of their infinitives and form the stems dar-, star- and far-, respectively; the stem of essere is sar-. These stems are then combined with the regular future-tense endings.

The verbs listed below also have an irregularly shortened stem in the future tense (usually, because the vowel a or e is dropped from the infinitive).

IRREGULAR FUTURE TENSE STEMS
INFINITIVEFUTURE STEM
andareandr-
avereavr-
caderecadr-
doveredovr-
poterepotr-
saperesapr-
vederevedr-
viverevivr-

Also be aware of the spelling of verbs with infinitives ending in -ciare and -giare. These verbs drop the i before adding the future endings to the root: tu comincerai, noi viaggeremo. Also, verbs with infinitives ending in -care and -gare add an h to the root for the future to preserve the hard sound of the c or g of the infinitive: io cercherò, loro pagheranno.


Italian Language Study Resources
Language Lessons: Italian grammar, spelling, and usage.
Audio Phrasebook: Improve your pronunciation and build your vocabulary.
Workbook Exercises: Worksheets, drills, activities, and review.
Buon Divertimento: Italian jokes, riddles, and puns.
Italian Verbs: Formation, moods, tenses, and table of conjugations.
Study Guides: Challenge your skills and test your knowledge of various topics.
Audio Lab: Word of the day, survival phrases, ABC's, numbers, and conversation.

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Newsletter
Name
Email

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Related Video
Italian Salsa Verde

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.