As you learn Spanish, expressing future actions will involve adding the correct ending to an infinitive form of the verb. Note the following example:
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[Infinitive (protagonizar) + ending]
(The big-handed male actor will star in a new movie. [literal translation])
[Modal verb + Infinitive (star)]
Now, how do we guess the ending for the future tense verb conjugation each time? Let’s find out.
How to conjugate verbs in the future tense
There are three different infinitive verb forms in Spanish, which are distinguished by their endings. Verbs that end in -ar belong to the first conjugation, those in -er to the second, and -ir verbs to the third. Let’s look at some examples of regular verbs:
|First Conjugation (-ar)||Second Conjugation (-er)||Third Conjugation (-ir)|
|jugar (to play)||Comer(To eat)||Reír(To laugh)|
|volar (to fly)||Querer(To want)||Vivir(To live)|
|viajar (to travel)||Esconder(To hide)||Imprimir(To print)|
The table below adds “person” and “number” to show the “future tense” endings for the three verb conjugations. Note that the infinitive verb forms (-ar, -er, -ir) are maintained along the conjugations, and the endings remain the same in all three cases.
|Person/Number||Conjugations for “Jugar”||Conjugations for “Comer”||Conjugations for “Reír”|
Here are some examples:
- De la mano de Tim Burton, grabarán una película protagonizada por grandes actores masculinos y femeninos. (From the hand of Tim Burton, they will shoot a movie starring great male and female actors. [literal translation])
Note: Grabarán (will shoot) is in the third-person plural and belongs to the first conjugation, with the infinite form grabar (to shoot).
- El actor y director masculino Denzel Washington dirigirá una trilogía de películas a partir del próximo año. (The male actor and director Denzel Washington will direct a trilogy of films starting next year.)
Note: Dirigirá (will direct) is in the third-person singular and belongs to the third conjugation, with its infinite form being dirigir (to direct).
- Tendrás que esforzarte para poder ser un actor exitoso con esas manos tan grandes. (You will have to work hard to be a successful actor with such big hands.)
Note: Tendrás (will have) is in the second-person singular and belongs to the second conjugation, with tener (to have) as the infinite form.
- Con los nuevos efectos especiales, será el actor masculino con las manos más grandes jamás antes vistas en una película. (With the new special effects, he will be the male actor with the largest hands ever seen in a movie.)
Note: Será (will be) is in the third-person singular and belongs to the second conjugation with its infinite form ser (to be).
And there you have it: your Spanish-speaking future already looks brighter!
Written by Nicole Oliveira