Futur simple (future simple in French)

Futur simple is usually simply called futur and is one of the three future tenses in French grammar (the other two are futur passé and futur proche).

Futur simple is a future tense:

  • Futur simple = Future
  • Futur passé = Past future
  • Futur proche = Near future

Future simple is used to describe actions that occur in the future from the speaker’s present tense.


Futur simple – a simple tense

The word simple in futur simple indicates that this form is the simplest of the three future tenses. Many would also consider the futur to be the simplest of all the grammatical tenses in French, for two reasons:

  1. future simple has only one set of endings for all verbs
  2. verbs retain their initive stem in future simple

However, there are (as always) some exceptions to rule #2 and there are therefore a small number of verbs where the stem is changed – but even in these cases the same endings are still used. Examples include:

  • envoyer > j’enverrai
  • déchoir > je décherrai
  • faire > je ferai

It is also worth noting that the stems of verbs in the future tense always end in r:

  • appeler > appeller-
  • aller > ir-
  • avoir > aur-
  • devoir > devr-



The endings are the same in all conjugations of the future tense:

Pronoun Futur-ending
je -ai
tu -as
il/elle/on -a
nous -ons
vous -ez
ils/elles -ont

To conjugate verbs in the future tense, take the infitive and add a future ending:

  • infinitiv + future ending = futur simple



1. conjugation (verbs ending in -er in infinitive)
Infinitive +

futur-ending =

futur simple
aimer ai j’aimerai
manger as tu mangeras
2. conjugation (verbs ending in -ir in infinitive)
Infinitiv +

futur-ending =

futur simple
finir a il finira
bouillir ons nous bouillirons
3. conjugation (verbs ending in -re in infinitive)
Infinitiv +

futur-ending =

futur simple
vendre ez vous vendrez
conduire ont ils conduiront


As can also be seen in the last table above, for verbs in the 3rd conjugation (where the infinitive ends in -re), the e at the end of the infitive must be removed – as in, for example, vendre or conduire.




The verbs in the 1st conjugation are those ending in the infitive ending in -er:

Verbs in the 1st conjugation
Pronoun aimer manger
je aimerai mangerai
tu aimeras mangeras
il/elle/on aimera mangera
nous aimerons mangerons
vous aimerez mangerez
ils/elles aimeront mangeront


The verbs in the 2nd conjugation are those ending in the infitive ending in -ir:

Verbs in the 2nd conjugation
Pronoun finir bouillir
je finirai bouillirai
tu finiras bouilliras
il/elle/on finira bouillira
nous finirons bouillirons
vous finirez bouillirez
ils/elles finiront bouilliront


The verbs in the 3rd conjugation are those ending in the infitive ending in -re:

Verbs in the 3rd conjugation
Pronomen vendre conduire
je vendrai conduirai
tu vendras conduiras
il/elle/on vendra conduira
nous vendrons conduirons
vous vendrez conduirez
ils/elles vendront conduiront


Use of the future

In French, the futur is used in several ways – the main ones are listed below:


1. Simple application

Here are some examples of simple uses of futur in French:

  • J’irai au travail plus tard = I go to work later
  • Elle finira ses devoirs demain = She will finish her homework tomorrow
  • La semaine prochaine, elles vendront les marchandises = Next week they will sell the goods
  • Est-ce que tu pourras m’aider ? = Can you help me?


2. Si-clauses

The future tense can also be used in sentences containing the word si (‘if’). Here the future tense is used to describe what will happen if something in the future comes true:

Si on travaille à deux, on finira plus vite = If we work together, we will finish faster


  • Je viendrai si j’ai congé = I’ll come, if I’m off


  • Si j’ai congé, je viendrai = if I am off, I will come

Note that futur can also be used several times in the sentence, which can change the meaning slightly:

  • Si je serai en congé, je viendrai = if I will be off, I will come


3. Time phrases

In time phrases that include words such as après que, aussitôt que, dès que, espérer que, lorsque, quand and une fois que, the future tense is often used in French:

  • Quand t’arriveras, nous boirons = When you arrive, we drink
  • Je l’enverrai lorsque vous êtes la = I will send it when you are there


4. Narrative contexts

In narrative contexts (e.g. in journalism or history), the future tense can be used even if the events in question took place in the past:

  • En 1980 le ministre quittera sa poste = In 1980, the Minister left his post
  • Dans la grande ville où il habitera, la vie sera gaie et chaque jour beaucoup d’étrangers arriveront = In the big city where he lived, life was happy and every day many foreigners arrived


5. Enquiries

The future tense can also be used for requests or polite orders, where it replaces the imperative of the verb:

  • Vous sortirez de la voiture, s’il vous plaît = Please get out of the car
  • Je vous prierai d’être prudent demain = I ask you to be careful tomorrow
  • Vous fermerez la fenêtre, s’il vous plaît = Please close the window

The imperatives in the examples above would have been sortez and fermez respectively.