Why You Should Never Say “Je ferai” in Spoken French

To improve your French to the point where you can wow your conversation partners, you need to focus on learning spoken French.

Spoken French has a lot of unwritten rules that don’t exist in written French. By learning them, you can sound more fluent and make faster progress.

For example, there are some verb tenses that we don’t really use in spoken French, even though you were taught to memorize them in school — like le futur. Let me explain.


1 – Don’t use “le futur simple”
2 – Practice with “le futur proche”
3 – Your turn now: Practice!
4 – Final Challenge

1 – Don’t use “le futur simple”

Le futur simple : the “simple future” tense for things that will happen. For instance:

  • Elle mangera un croissant. = She will eat a croissant.
  • Vous visiterez Paris. = You’ll visit Paris.
  • Un deux trois, nous irons au bois. = 1, 2, 3, we’ll go into the woods.
  • Je ferai du thé. = I will make some tea.

For regular verbs, the conjugation is made of l’infinitif (= the infinitive, without the final “e” when there is one) + the following endings:
aiJe chanterai (chanter = to sing)
as → Tu partiras (partir = to go, to leave)
aElle mangera (manger = to eat)
ons → Nous prendrons (prendre = to take)
ez → Vous rirez (rire = to laugh)
ont → Ils écriront (écrire = to write)

You’ll find that tense in a lot of French media, novels, and newspapers. But we don’t really use it ourselves. French people mostly don’t use the “futur simple” in real-life conversations! It sounds a bit too formal and a bit too heavy.

Le truc en plus :

The endings of futur simple are always the same, but the radical (root) can be irregular for some very common verbs, that you have to learn by heart if you want to master this tense. Mainly:

Être (to be) Je serai (= I’ll be), tu seras, etc.

Avoir (to have) J’aurai (= I’ll have)

Aller (to go) J’irai (= I’ll go)

Savoir (to know) Je saurai (= I’ll know)

Pouvoir (can) Je pourrai (= I’ll be able)

Faire (to do, to make) Je ferai (= I’ll make)


2 – Practice with “le futur proche”

In everyday spoken French, we’d rather use another tense instead: le futur proche, the “near future” tense.
It’s made of : aller (= to go) in the present + infinitive

Reminder: aller in the present
Je vais (= I go)     Tu vas             Elle va
Nous allons         Vous allez     Ils vont

For example, instead of the “futur simple” Je ferai du thé, we’d rather use the futur proche with:

Je vais faire du thé. = I’ll make some tea.

You’ll find more examples and everyday practice in the video lesson!

For instance:
Tu vas visiter le Louvre? = Are you going to visit the Louvre museum?
Elle va vivre à Paris. = She’s going to live in Paris.
Je vais survivre. = I will survive, I’m going to survive.
Elle va arriver. = She’s going to arrive.

Basically, the “futur proche” is the French version of the English “going to.” It’s also less irregular (good for you!) and more frequently used in real everyday French, as it’s seen as less formal.

  • Le futur proche is used for actions that will happen soon or in the immediate future. It implies that the action is planned or certain.
    Example: Le train va partir. = The train is going to leave.
  • Le futur simple is used for actions that will happen in the more distant future. It expresses a future action without necessarily implying immediacy or certainty.
    Example: Un jour, je visiterai Paris. = One day, I’ll visit Paris.

The futur proche tense is a great way to sound more confident in French, and to better understand real, everyday non-formal spoken French.

It’s the point of my lessons and programs like the 30-Day French Challenges, where you get a daily practice of real everyday French, with colloquial dialogues and vocabulary and discussion of French culture, each morning for thirty days. The next one is starting soon. Check it out at this link!

3 – Your turn now: Practice!

Important note:
Yes, we use much less “futur simple” and much more “futur proche” in everyday French. But to be honest, “futur simple” is still used regularly – even in informal conversations. It’s not as weird as, for example, using le passé simple. Especially when talking about events that are more certain to happen, or further away in the future.

Click here to learn more:

And you can find it easier to speak with “futur proche” than “futur simple”, and your confidence is what mostly matters when learning French. Whatever helps you make French connections.

But you might still hear everyday French people saying things that are all “futur simple,” like:

Ah j’dois vous dire, je pourrai pas venir demain. Je serai dans l’avion vers les Bahamas. Mais je vous enverrai une carte postale ! = Ah, I have to tell you, I won’t be able to come in tomorrow. I’ll be on a plane to the Bahamas. But I’ll send you a postcard!

And now, let’s practice together:

1/6 Tu trouveras une solution. = You’ll find a solution.  It’s in le futur simple. (How would you turn this into the future proche tense? See the answers below!)

The “futur simple” gives more weight to the sentence. It’s the kind of French that we don’t use in everyday life, but that you’ll find in like songs or poems. To be fair, we do sometimes use the “future simple” in everyday spoken French, mostly in a few expressions.

2/6 On verra.= We’ll see. It’s the irregular conjugation of the verb voir (= to see). On verra” is an everyday expression that means “we’ll see, who knows? Time will tell. How would you change that phrase in the near future tense?

Le truc en plus:
Thomas Cailley, film director of “Les Combattants” (2014), also directed the recent “Le Règne Animal” (2023). Je recommande !

3/6 Speaking of “on”, did you know that in everyday spoken French, we don’t really use “nous” as a subject pronoun? We use “on” instead.

Click here to learn more:
Why You Should Never Say Nous in Spoken French (Spoken French Lesson!)

So, how would we say in everyday spoken French:
Nous vendrons la maison. = We will sell the house.
Use the “futur proche” to mean “We’re going to sell the house.” Don’t forget to replace “Nous” with “On”.
It makes: On va vendre la maison. = We’re going to sell the house. Soon!

4/6 But what happens if we will not sell the house? How would you say “We’re not going to sell the house?” We have to add the negation in there somewhere. How do you think it would work? (see all the answers below!)

5/6 There’s something else that we can add between “aller” and the verb. It’s an object pronoun: like “him”, “her”, “us” or “them”. So, how would you say: Michel and Alice are going to see them tomorrow.
(Tips: here, the pronoun “them”will be les. And “tomorrow” is demain.)

6/6 For extra fun, before our lightning round, let’s try using a negative sentence and pronouns like
You’re not going to do that to him. (The singular “you”).
How would you say that in everyday spoken French?

Answers (try to find the answers yourself before looking below):

1) Tu vas trouver une solution. = You’ll find a solution.
2) On va voir. = We’re going to see, we’ll see.
It sounds more active and assertive than “On verra”, like you’re really making a plan to think about it, or that you’re going to find out very soon.
3) On va vendre la maison. = We’re going to sell the house. Soon!
4) The answer is: On va pas vendre la maison. = We’re not going to sell the house / we won’t sell the house.
We simply add a “pas” between “aller” and the verb “vendre.”
In correct French, we should say On ne va pas vendre. = We won’t sell, with a “ne,” but as I often mention, in everyday spoken French we cut the “ne” in negatives !

Click here to learn more:
Memorize This Fast Spoken French Rule: Drop the “ne.”

5) Michel et Alice vont les voir. = Michel and Alice are going to see them.
6) The first hint is that “to him” simply becomes “lui”, before the verb. We also have the verb “faire” = to do. And of course, “You” in the singular in informal French with friends is Tu. Finally, you have to know that “pas” comes before the pronoun, in the near future tense. All in all, it makes:
Tu vas pas lui faire ça. = You’re not going to do that to him.

4 - Final Challenge

Let’s recap what we’ve seen today.

How would you say these sentences in le futur proche in everyday spoken French?

  1. Je lui enverrai un message. = I’ll send her a message.
  2. Tu lui répondras ? = Will you answer her?
  3. Elle n’écrira pas avant demain. = She won’t write before tomorrow.
  4. Nous sortirons ce soir. = We will go out tonight.
  5. Vous ne les verrez pas ? = You won’t see them? / You won’t visit them ?
  6. Ils te rappelleront. = They’ll call you back.

Try to find the answers yourself, before looking below.


1) Je vais lui envoyer un message.= I’m going to send her a message.
2) Tu vas lui répondre ? = Are you going to answer her?
3) Elle va pas écrire avant demain. = She’s not going to write before tomorrow. [without “ne”]
4) On va sortir ce soir.= We’re going to go out tonight. [“on” instead of “nous”]
5) Vous allez pas les voir ? = You’re not going to see them?
6) Ils vont te rappeler. = They’re going to call you back.

Yay! Congrats!

Now, you can rewatch this lesson to see if you can remember all the answers. Or you can keep improving your everyday spoken French with another lesson of Comme une Française!

Click here to get your next lesson:

À tout de suite.
I’ll see you right now in the next video!


→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new) – why not share this lesson with a francophile friend? You can talk about it afterwards! You’ll learn much more if you have social support from your friends 🙂


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