Tag Archive: Zukunft


What you need to form the ‚second future‘ (Futur II, vollendete Zukunft) is the finite form of ‚werden‘ (to become), the second participle of the verb, and the helping verb sein/haben (to be/to have). Importantly, you need to be able to conjugate ‘werden’ appropriately, and you need to know how to form the second participle of a verb. This will allow you to construct sentences such as the following:

Ich werde gegessen haben. I will have eaten.
Du wirst gelesen haben. You will have read.
Er/sie/es wird gelernt haben You will have learned.
Wir werden gegangen sein We will have gone/walked.
Ihr werdet geboren sein. You will have been born.
Sie/Sie werden gestorben sein. You will have died.

When do you use ‘haben’ (have) and when ‘sein’ (be)?

‘sein’ is mostly used for intransitive verbs that denote a change of state or place (gehen, einschlafen, aufwachen,…), and ‘haben‘ anywhere else.

How do you form the second participle again…?

  • weak verbs: ge…t
  • strong verbs: ge…en
  • mind that many strong and mixed verbs have a different stem in the second participle! (e.g. gehen – gegangen, bringen – gebracht…)
  • verbs that end in –ieren are not prefixed; e.g. studieren – studiert (not *gestudiert)

When do you use this tense?

  • When you assume that something has finished (keyword frequently ‘schon’): Es wird schon gut gegangen sein (I’m sure it worked out fine)
  • When you assume that something will have finished by a certain time in the future: Ich werde meinen Aufsatz bis morgen Abend verbessert haben (I will have improved my essay by tomorrow evening)

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.