Learning a new language can sometimes be confusing, especially when we talk about verb tenses. Like in our previous post explaining the difference between passé composé and imparfait, today we are going to go over another of the most common grammar confusions French learners do, and that is, understanding the difference between the “futur proche” and “futur simple”.
Can you tell the difference? It depends on the context in which is used.
If you are a more visual person, we’ve included an explainer video from our YouTube series “Coup de pouce”, where one of our French as a Second Language teachers explains with examples and in an easy and clear way the main differences.
Before knowing which grammatical tense to use, you must understand the intention of the actions inside the sentence. What do we want to say? What do we wish to express?
Futur proche is often used when there is a high level of certitude that an event or action will happen. The event or action will happen
immediately or when the timing of the event is known.
When using the future proche, you must use the conjugated form of the verb aller + infinitive verb of the action. For example:
Je vais aller au restaurant.
If we decompose the sentence, you will notice the use of futur proche : Je + vais (conjugated form of aller) + aller (infinitive verb) + au restaurant.
When the time of the event is known, you also use futur proche. For example:
Je vais partir en septembre.
In the example above, the month of September clearly indicates the time when this person will leave.
Some other expressions that indicate time in the future are:
We use futur simple to predict events or actions that will happen in the future.
Futur simple is built from the infinitive form and adding a specific ending. For example, for the verb parler:
It is possible to use both the futur simple and futur proche in a sentence when you need to indicate a change that is coming or to indicate the consequences of an action or event. For example:
Je vais partir et je vous enverrai mon téléphone.
To decompose the sentence: Je + vais partir (futur proche) + et je vous + enverrai (futur simple) + mon téléphone.
The fact that the person will leave is certain but, we do not have a time or idea of when he will send his telephone number.
If you need more explanation and examples, watch our video:
Follow our Youtube channel and Series “Le Coup de pouce” for more practical explanations on the common mistakes and difficulties you may have when learning French!