French Grammar – Le Futur Proche

French grammar and conjugation can be very difficult, in many ways. As a French learner, you have to remember all these tenses and endings and irregular verbs…

Here’s some good news: spoken French makes French grammar much easier! In everyday spoken French, some of the tenses you focused on in school or in your formal French lessons are almost never used.

For instance, you can express the future very easily, with le futur proche.

Learning goals: This is what you’ll be able to do after watching this lesson

  • Learn how to build and use “le futur proche”, an important everyday part of French grammar

Bonjour c’est Géraldine.

Bienvenue sur Comme une Française. C’est parti !

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1) Three tenses to talk about the future, in French

Le futur simple (= “simple future”)
Example: “Je mangerai de la soupe ce soir” (= “I will eat some soup tonight.”)

This one (that you might have learned at school) is quite easy to build – even though you still need to learn six forms for EACH verb! It’s also not used very often in everyday spoken French, as it sounds a bit too formal.

→ Le futur proche (= “near future”)
Example: “Je vais manger de la soupe ce soir” (= “I’m going to eat some soup tonight.”)

This part of French grammar is used a lot in everyday spoken French! And it’s very simple, you only need to learn six forms for ALL the verbs together.

→ Le futur antérieur (= “anterior future”)
Example: “Demain soir, j’aurai déjà mangé de la soupe.” (= “Tomorrow evening, I’ll have eaten some soup.”)

This a future tense that’s relatively easy to build. However, its use is complicated, for advanced students only. We use it to describe something that will happen before another action, or for an action that will be finished in the future.

Even native French speakers struggle with this tense, so I won’t talk about it today!

For more in-depth lessons and exercises on French grammar, you can check out my “Test Your Conjugation” course! It’s a $49 conjugation program, with lessons, levels and quizzes, to guide you through French conjugation at your own level.

Click here to learn more about the quizzes in “Test Your Conjugation”

2) How to use and build le “futur proche”

Le futur proche (= near future) expresses something that will happen very soon. “Very soon” doesn’t have a clear definition, but as a rule of thumb, it’s something that will happen with certainty.

It’s not always really “proche” (“near.”) For example :
On va aller au Japon dans 5 ans. (= “We’re going to go to Japan in five years.”)

To build the futur proche, it’s easy:
Sujet + “aller(au présent) + verbe (à l’infinitif)
Ex : “On” + “va” + “manger” → We’re going to eat.

Great news! To use le futur proche, you only have to learn Aller’s six forms in the present tense.

 

Le futur proche de “courir” (= to run)

Je

vais





courir

Tu

vas

Il / Elle / On

va

Nous

allons

Vous

allez

Ils

vont

 

3) On essaye ?

Try it yourself now!
How do you say in French?

→ I’m going to visit Le Louvre tomorrow.

(visit = “visiter”, tomorrow = “demain)

(Answer: Je vais visiter le Louvre demain.)

→ She’s going to buy the groceries next week.

(to buy = “acheter”, next week = “la semaine prochaine.”)

(Answer: Elle va faire les courses la semaine prochaine..)

→ You are going to dine at the restaurant tonight. (polite/plural “you”)

(to dine = “dîner”, tonight = “ce soir.”)

(Answer: Vous allez dîner au restaurant ce soir..)

→ Marc is going to go to the beach this afternoon. (double “to go”!)

(to the beach = “à la plage”, this afternoon = “cet après-midi.”)

(Answer: Marc va aller à la plage cet après-midi.)

→ Lucie will be brilliant in her exam on Monday. (Check the adjective!)

(Answer: Lucie va être brillante à son examen lundi.)

Écris une phrase en français avec le futur proche (dans les commentaires).
Write one sentence in French with a “futur proche” (in the comments).

For example, you can write: “Je vais manger un croissant au petit-déjeuner” (“I’m going to eat a croissant for breakfast.”)

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Allez, salut 🙂

Join the conversation!

  • Géraldine : J’ai étudié français de 1954 à 1960 en Angleterre. On n’a pas enseigné le future proche. Notre maître a juste dit que on exprimerait le futur par avoir + verbe. De toute façon, il est essentiellement la même construction d’anglais.

  • Your ‘buy the groceries’ example is confusing. You tell us that ‘to buy’ is ‘acheter’, but it is nowhere in the correct answer.

    • Salut Kyle. “Je vais aller au la Sarthe pour tous les mois de Septembre!” Moi, Je pense que cette phrase devrait être: Je vais aller en Sarthe pour tout le mois de septembre.

  • Je vais rencontrer mes amis ce soir pour prendre un verre.
    Is there a more appropriate verb to use in this context than ‘rencontrer’? Retrouver?

  • Merci Géraldine pour tous ce que tu fais
    pour tes étudiants. On va apprendre toujours
    quelque chose qui est, à la fois, intéressante
    et utile.

  • Bonjour, Madame Géraldine et merci pour le leçon ! Aujourd’hui, je vais allez au salon pour une coupe de cheveux.

  • Je vais aller mon examen aujourd’hui! C’était être ennuyeux mais peu importe. Aussi dans la futur, je vais être une scientiste de l’environment!

    • Whoops I said that wrong! Je vais aller au mon examen aujourd’hui! ça sera très ennuyeux mais peu importe. Aussi dans la futur, je vais être une scientiste de l’environment!

    • Salut Kaitlyn! Je n’ai pas bien compris de ce que tu as écrit.
      Je vais (aller)/(faire?) mon examen aujourd’hui! C’était (être?) ennuyeux mais peu importe. Aussi dans la futur (aussi à l’avenir), je vais être une scientiste de l’environment!

  • Mine froze, too. Geraldine, in the intro you wrote, “On va parler” but then switched to “nous allons” to go to the movies. Is there a reason to use “on” in one case but “nous” in another when both mean “we”?

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