Different Tenses

Bonjour! Je m'appelle hellobrio. I have improved my french a lot with native speakers and classes in the past 3 months and have started to learn verb tenses. I know:

  • Indicatif present
  • passe compose
  • futur simple

I am learning:

-conditionnel (practicing, know most of it)

What are some future tenses I can learn, and can you provide the endings for it? Thanks !

Merci mille fois, hellobrio

June 7, 2018


There are 3 future tenses in French (all in the indicative mood):

Le futur proche (near future) constructed with the verb "aller" in present + the verb in infinitive:

  • je vais manger, tu vas manger, il/elle/on va manger, nous allons manger, vous allez manger, ils/elles vont manger.

Le futur simple (simple future), constructed from the infinitive for -er and -ir verbs:

  • je manger|ai, tu manger-as, il/elle manger|a, nous manger|ons, vous manger|ez, ils/elles manger|ont.
  • Other verbs ending with -tre or -dre add the ending after the last consonant (je prendr|ai, je paraîtr|ai...)
  • Irregular verbs have to be learned one by one.

Le futur antérieur (past future), with the verb's usual auxiliary in simple future and the verb's past participle:

  • j'aurai mangé, tu auras mangé, il/elle aura mangé, nous aurons mangé, vous aurez mangé, ils/elles auront mangé
  • je serai parti(e), tu seras parti(e), il/elle sera parti(e), nous serons parti(e)s, vous serez parti(e)(s), ils/elles seront parti(e)s.
June 7, 2018

From what I remember of French class in school, the order went like this:

  • present

  • passé compose and imparfait

  • futur composé (je vais faire) + passé récent (je viens de faire)

  • futur simple

  • mode: conditionnel (présent + passé), impératif

  • plus que parfait, futur antérieur

  • passe simple

  • mode: subjonctif (présent + passé)

For the difference between "temps" and "mode", this might help:

June 7, 2018

Futur composé is not a grammatical term; please use "futur proche = near future".

June 7, 2018

imparfait is an absolute must, you need to alternate between imparfait and passé composé all the time and there is no way to escape it.

subjonctif présent is also necessary, subjonctif passé however is only a quaint curiosity, archaic literary language.

passé simple is also only used in literary writing (children get it from fairy tales).

futur proche is easy to learn and it's by far more used in the spoken language than futur simple, in practice however, you can provisionally survive using present in many cases, that's what French do: "je pars en vacances dans un mois"

what passé composé is to present, plus-que-parfait is to imperfect futur antérieur to futur simple, conditionnel passé to conditionnel: using them is at times tricky and should not be a priority but learning them is a no-brainer.

June 7, 2018
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