The Future Tense

In German, an event in the future is usually expressed with the present tense in association with an expression of time (morgen; tomorrow, heute Abend; this evening, nächste Woche; next week, bald; soon…)

However, to express a future intention or prediction or promise, the future tense (Futur I) is used.

Let’s look at two examples where a future event can be expressed in German.

german future tense word order

In the first sentence, translated into English as ‘This evening, I will learn German’ -the future event is described with the present tense when used along with an expression of time. The verb infinitive is ‘lernen’, meaning ‘to learn’. As I had mentioned in Week 9, the conjugated verb occupies the second position in the sentence. NOTE: if literally translating from English into German, you would say ‘Heute Abend, ich lerne Deutsch,’ but that is not correct.

In the second sentence, translated into English as “I will learn German” – the future tense (Futur I) is used to express an intention. The construction of the sentence is simple. The conjugated verb is the present tense of werden (Week 10), which occupies position 2 in the sentence. The second verb, used in the infinitive (lernen, in this case), is placed at the end of the sentence.

Lets look at some other examples where the Futur I is used:

1. Ich werde dich anrufen. I will call you. (intention)

2. Wir werden bestimmt eine Lösung finden. We will certainly find a solution. (prediction)

3. Ich werde dich in deiner neuen Wohnung besuchen. I will visit you in your new apartment. (promise)

 

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