Das Futur oder die Zukunft is one of the easiest tenses in German as all you need is the finite form of the auxiliary verb ‘werden’ (will – but also to become) and the infinitive (the basic form) of the verb that describes the action.

How to conjugate ‘werden’ and examples of the future tense:

Person finite form of ‘werden’ infinitive verb English

1. Person Singular

ich werde essen I will eat

2. Person Singular

du wirst trinken You will drink

3. Person Singular

er/sie/es wird lesen He/she/it will read

1. Person Plural

wir werden spielen We will play

2. Person Plural

ihr werdet singen You (pl) will sing

3. Person Plural

sie/Sie werden tanzen They/You (formal) will dance

Usage

  • In regards to future events, the future tense and the present tense are more or less interchangeable.
    • Planned future events, eg: Nächsten Sommer werden wir nach Schweden ziehen. (Next summer we’ll move to Sweden.) vs Nächsten Sommer ziehen wir nach Schweden. (Next summer we’re moving to Sweden.)
  • In some cases, however, you have to use the future tense:
    • When you assume or hope something for the future, eg: Wir werden schon eine gute Zeit haben*, wenn wir in den Urlaub fliegen**. (We’ll surely have a good time when we’re going on holiday.)
    • When you assume something for the present, eg: Es wird schon gut gehen*. (It will be all right)
    • When you want someone to do something (in a request), eg: Du wirst heute in die Schule gehen! (You’re going to go to school today!)

*note that assumptions & hopes are often strengthened by words such as: schon, wohl, sicher, bestimmt.

**note that the second ‘future’ phrase is in the present tense.