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How to Talk About the Future in Italian: A Guide to the Futuro Semplice 

 February 5, 2020

By  Jessica Maggi

In Italian, the simple future tense (futuro semplice) refers to actions which have yet to happen. Fortunately, it is much simpler than the present and the past, and both its use and conjugations are pretty straightforward. 

In this lesson we will show you how to conjugate and use the futuro semplice. It is not a hard tense to master.

Using the futuro semplice 

In Italian, the futuro semplice is used to:

  • talk about events that will take place in the future. Unlike in English, it doesn’t matter if the action is far or close in the future:
La finale di Champions League si terrà sabato prossimo – The Champions League final is going to take place next Saturday
Tra un centinaio di anni la Terra sarà invivibileThe earth will be unlivable within a hundred years
  • plan an action that will happen:
La prossima estate io e Filippo andremo in BrasileFilippo and I are going to Brazil next summer
Diego inizierà la dieta domaniDiego will start the diet tomorrow
  • express a polite order:
Farai tutto quello che ti dico, va bene?You will do what I say, alright?
  • make a statement sound less strong and authoritative:
Ammetterai che non hai avuto un comportamento adeguatoYou have to admit that you didn’t behave properly
  • express an hypothesis, a guess or a doubt:
Dove sarà Camilla?Where could Camilla be? (I am wondering where Camilla is right now, not asking where she will be at some point in the future)
Da qui al parco saranno tre chilometriIt must be two miles from here to the park

In the spoken language, the futuro semplice is often replaced with the present tense to:

  • refer to the future:
Il corso intensivo di italiano comincia domaniThe intensive Italian course starts tomorrow
Mi sposo tra due settimaneI am getting married in two weeks
  • say what you are about to do:
Pago io!I’ll pay!
  • ask for suggestions:
Cosa facciamo?What shall we do?

Note that, unlike in English, both parts of a future sentence can be in the future tense in Italian.

Ci crederò quando lo vedròI’ll believe it when I see it
Chi vivrà, vedràOnly time will tell

We suggest studying the futuro semplice and its uses within the context of speaking Italian. Try and think in Italian when you speak, and don’t look for a correspondence with any particular tense in English. Italian and English have different tense forms and most of the time you cannot make an exact correspondence between their tenses.

Constructing the futuro semplice

Lucky for you, the futuro semplice is easy to form in Italian. You start by removing the verb’s ending, and then add the appropriate simple future ending. 

There is one form for first-conjugation and second-conjugation regular verbs, and a second form for third-conjugation regular verbs.

  •      For regular verbs ending in -are and -ere, the simple future endings are:
  • -erò for “I”
  • -erai for “you”
  • -erà for “he”/ “she” / “it”
  • -eremo for “we”
  • -erete for “y’all”
  • -eranno for “they”

So, for instance, to form the future tense of cantare (to sing) and vendere (to sell), you have:

Cantare (to sing)

Io canteròI will sing
Tu canteraiYou will sing
Lui/lei canteràHe/She/It will sing
Noi canteremoWe will sing
Voi cantereteY’all will sing
Loro canterannoThey will sing

Vendere (to sell)

Io venderòI will sell
Tu venderaiYou will sell
Lui/lei venderàHe/She/It will sell
Noi venderemoWe will sell
Voi vendereteY’all will sell
Loro venderannoThey will sell
  •   For regular verbs ending in -ire, the simple future endings are:
  • -irò for “I”
  • -irai for “you” 
  • -irà for “he”/ “she” / “it”
  • -iremo for “we”
  • -irete for “y’all”
  • -iranno for “they”

Note that they are the same as above except for the first letter. So, for instance, to form the future tense of sentire (to hear), you have:

Sentire (to hear)

Io sentiròI will hear
Tu sentiraiYou will hear
Lui/lei sentiràHe/She/It will hear
Noi sentiremoWe will hear
Voi sentireteY’all will hear
Loro sentirannoThey will hear

For verbs ending in -are, there are some spelling changes to learn. Verbs ending in -care and -gare, such as cercare (to look for, to try), pubblicare (to publish), seccare (to annoy), pagare (to pay), delegare (to delegate) and spiegare (to explain), add an “h” to the future tense stem after the “c” or “g”, in order to preserve the hard sound of the infinitive.

Pubblicare (to publish)

Io pubblicheròI will publish
Tu pubblicheraiYou will publish
Lui/lei pubblicheràHe/She/It will publish
Noi pubblicheremoWe will publish
Voi pubblichereteY’all will publish
Loro pubblicherannoThey will publish

Delegare (to delegate)

Io delegherò
I will delegate
Tu delegheraiYou will delegate
Lui/lei delegheràHe/She/It will delegate
Noi delegheremoWe will delegate
Voi deleghereteY’all will delegate
Loro delegherannoThey will delegate

Verbs ending in -giare and -ciare, such as mangiare (to eat), parcheggiare (to park), cominciare (to start) and viaggiare (to travel), remove the “i” before adding the future-tense endings.

Mangiare (to eat)

Io mangeròI will eat
Tu mangeraiYou will eat
Lui/lei mangeràHe/She/It will eat
Noi mangeremoWe will eat
Voi mangereteY’all will eat
Loro mangerannoThey will eat

Viaggiare (to travel)

Io viaggeròI will travel
Tu viaggeraiYou will travel
Lui/lei viaggeràHe/She/It will travel
Noi viaggeremoWe will travel
Voi viaggereteY’all will travel
Loro viaggerannoThey will travel

That’s all there is to forming the simple future verb conjugations in Italian.

Irregular verbs in the Italian simple future tense

In the future tense, some verbs are irregular, which means they do not follow the regular conjugation patterns. 

The auxiliary verbs essere (to be) and avere (to have) have irregular future forms. The stem of the verb “essere” is sar-.

Essere (to be)

Io sarò 

Tu sarai 

Lui/lei sarà 

Noi saremo 

Voi sarete 

Loro saranno

Avere (to have)

Io av

Tu avrai 

Lui/lei av

Noi avremo

Voi avrete

Loro avranno

Irregular verbs have to be committed to memory, but here are two main categories to classify them.

  1. 1
    Verbs that lose the ending except for the letter “r.”

Dovere (to must, to have to) 

Io dovrò

Tu dovrai 

Lui/lei dovrà

Noi dovremo

Voi dovrete

Loro dovranno

Sapere (to know)

Io saprò

Tu saprai 

Lui/lei saprà

Noi sapremo

Voi saprete

Loro sapranno

Potere (to be able to)

Io potrò

Tu potrai 

Lui/lei potrà

Noi potremo 

Voi potrete 

Loro potranno

Vedere (to see)

Io vedrò

Tu vedrai 

Lui/lei vedrà

Noi vedremo

Voi vedrete

Loro vedranno

Vivere (to live)

Io vivrò

Tu vivrai 

Lui/lei vivrà

Noi vivremo

Voi vivrete

Loro vivranno

Cadere (to fall)

Io cadrò

Tu cadrai 

Lui/lei cadrà

Noi cadremo

Voi cadrete

Loro cadranno

    2. Verbs that lose both the ending and part of the root, and add “rr” instead.

Venire (to come)

Io verrò

Tu verrai

Lui/lei verrà

Noi verremo

Voi verrete 

Loro verranno

Tenere (to keep)

Io terrò

Tu terrai 

Lui/lei terrà

Noi terremo 

Voi terrete 

Loro terranno

Volere (to want)

Io vorrò

Tu vorrai 

Lui/lei vorrà

Noi vorremo 

Voi vorrete

Loro vorranno

Bere (to drink)

Io berrò

Tu berrai

Lui/lei berrà

Noi berremo

Voi berrete

Loro berranno

Condurre (to drive)

Io condurrò

Tu condurrai 

Lui/lei condurrà

Noi condurremo

Voi condurrete

Loro condurranno

Tradurre (to translate)

Io tradurrò

Tu tradurrai 

Lui/lei tradurrà

Noi tradurremo

Voi tradurrete

Loro tradurranno

The verbs fare (to do, to make), dare (to give) and stare (to stay, to be) simply drop the final -e of their infinitives and form the stems far-, dar- and star- respectively. These stems are then combined with the regular simple future endings listed above.

Fare (to do, to make)

Io farò

Tu farai 

Lui/lei farà

Noi faremo 

Voi farete 

Loro faranno

Dare (to give)

Io darò

Tu darai 

Lui/lei darà

Noi daremo

Voi darete

Loro daranno

Stare (to stay, to be)

Io starò

Tu starai 

Lui/lei starà

Noi staremo

Voi starete

Loro staranno

As you might have noticed, the tail end of the future-tense endings is the same for each subject even with these irregular conjugations.

Which phrases are typically used with the futuro semplice?

Here is a list of marker words that are usually used with the futuro semplice in Italian:

  • Domani – Tomorrow
Domani Matilde e Giulia canteranno nel coroTomorrow Matilde and Giulia will sing in the chorus
  • Un giorno – One day
Un giorno ci rideremo suOne day we will laugh about this
  • Stasera – Tonight, this evening
Letizia riceverà il premio staseraThis evening, Letizia will receive the award
  • Domani mattina/pomeriggio/sera – Tomorrow morning/afternoon/evening
Domani mattina non sarò a casaTomorrow morning I will not be home
  • La prossima settimana/mese/anno – Next week/month/year
Mia cucina Mara avrà un bambino il mese prossimoMy cousin Mara will have a baby next month
  • Tra … giorni/settimane/mesi/anni – In …days/weeks/months/years
Tra due settimane sarà il nostro terzo anniversario di matrimonioIn two weeks, it will be our third marriage anniversary
  • Mai più – Never again
Non tornerò mai più in quel ristoranteI will never go back to that restaurant again
Non mi vedrai mai piùYou will never see me again

What’s the difference between futuro semplice and futuro anteriore?

In Italian, the future tense is made up of two tenses: the futuro semplice (future tense) and the futuro anteriore (future perfect), both belonging to the indicative mood.

As mentioned previously, the futuro semplice is used to talk about something that will happen in the close or distant future.
Un giorno canterò in un coroOne day I will sing in a choir
A metà settembre i bambini dovranno tornare a scuolaThe children will have to go back to school in mid-September

Typically you will use the futuro anteriore when you are unsure about something that is happening in the future or that happened in the past.

Emanuele non è venuto a lezione, sarà stato molto impegnatoEmanuele didn’t come to the class, he must have been very busy
Non ho più visto Pamela a scuola, probabilmente si sarà trasferitaI haven’t seen Pamela at school anymore, she must have moved

You can also use the futuro anteriore when you are talking about an action in the future before something else happens.

Entro i 30 anni, avrai messo da parte abbastanza soldi per comprare una casaBy the age of 30, you will have saved enough money to buy a house
Alle nove avremo già cenatoBy 9 p.m. we will already have had dinner

The Italian future perfect is also used to talk about what will have happened by a point in time in the future.

Domani a quest’ora sarò già arrivato a New YorkBy this time tomorrow I will have already arrived in New York
Entro la fine dell’anno Viviana avrà lavorato qui per 10 anniBy the end of the year, Viviana will have worked here for 10 years

To sum up...

  • The futuro semplice is to be used to talk about something that will happen in the future.
Alberto venderà la sua moto per pagare i debitiAlberto will sell his motorcycle to pay his debts
  • Native Italian speakers use the present tense a lot to talk about their future plans.
  • The simple future endings of regular -are and -ere verbs are -erò, -erai, -erà, -eremo, -erete and -eranno.
  • The simple future endings of regular -ire verbs are -irò, -irai, -irà, -iremo, -irete and -iranno.
  • In Italian, both speculative and definite future are expressed with the futuro semplice, which is commonly used to express suppositions and doubts:
Qualcuno sta bussando alla porta, chi sarà mai?Someone is knocking at the door, who could it be?

Jessica Maggi


Jessica is a native Italian speaker, a passionate linguist and a proud Grammar nerd. She has a lifelong passion for English and studied Linguistic and Cultural Mediation at the University of Milan. She currently works as a freelance translator and copywriter.

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