Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The future tense (Le futur)

1- Using the Present to Express the Future:
The present tense may be used to imply the future when you’re asking for instructions or referring to an action that will take place in the immediate future. You will know when the future is implied by the present
through the context of the conversation.

Je mets le livre ici?  (Shall I put the book here?)
Elle arrive bientôt.  (She will arrive soon.)

2- Aller + Infinitive:
In French, as in English, the near future may be expressed with a form of the present tense of the verb aller (to go) plus the infinitive referring to the action that the speaker will perform. The near future is generally used for an action that is imminent—that is going to happen soon.
The irregular present tense of aller is conjugated as follows:

je vais            nous allons
tu vas            vous allez
il va               ils vont 

Add an infinitive to get the near future: Je vais aller à Dijon. (I’m going to go to Dijon.) Nous allons prendre l’avion. (We’re going to take the plane.)

3- The Future Tense of Regular Verbs:
The future tense tells what the subject will do or what action will take place in a future time. The future tense of all regular verbs is formed by adding the endings indicated in red to the infinitive of the verb.

-ER VERBS                  -IR VERBS                    -RE VERBS
parler (to speak)              finir (to finish)                  rendre (to return)
je parlerai                        je finirai                            je rendrai
tu parleras                      tu finiras                           tu rendras
il parlera                         elle finira                          on rendra
nous parlerons               nous finirons                     nous rendrons
vous parlerez                 vous finirez                       vous rendrez
ils parleront                    ils finiront                         elles rendront

-re verbs drop the final e before adding the appropriate future ending:
répondre, il répondra; vendre, nous vendrons
• The e of the -er infinitive remains silent in the future tense:
Il travaillera.  (He will work).
Nous en parlerons. (We’ll speak about it).

-yer Verbs
j’emploierai        nous emploierons
tu emploieras     vous emploierez
il emploiera        elles emploieront

-ayer Verbs: With verbs ending in -ayer, you have the option of changing y to i in all future forms: 
je paierai (payerai),  nous paierons (payerons).
It is probably easier, however, to remember the y-to-i change for all -yer verbs, including those ending in -ayer.

e + Consonant + er Verbs:
j’achèterai            nous achèterons
tu achèteras         vous achèterez
il achètera            elles achèteront

Verbs with silent e: (those verbs ending in -eler and -eter ) like appeler and jeter double the consonant in the future:
appeler, to call                                             jeter, to throw
j’appellerai          nous appellerons                 je jetterai         nous jetterons
tu appelleras       vous appellerez                   tu jetteras        vous jetterez
il appellera          ils appelleront                     elle jettera        ils jetteront

The Future Tense of Irregular Verbs: The verbs below have irregular future stems, which always end in -r or -rr. Just add the future endings to these stems to get the correct future form:
INFINITIVE              STEM                      INFINITIVE                    STEM
aller (to go)                ir-                             pouvoir (to be able to)      pourr-
avoir (to have)           aur-                           recevoir (to receive)          recevr-
devoir (to have to)    devr-                         savoir (to know)                saur-
envoyer (to send)     enverr-                       venir (to come)                 viendr-
être (to be)               ser-                            voir (to see)                      verr-
faire (to make, do)    fer-                            vouloir (to wish, want)      voudr-

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