Conjugation – der Indikativ – Futur

Das Futur I

Werden (to become) is conjugated in the present tense and it makes a sentence frame with the infinitive of the main verb:

   werden                +     infinitive
       conjugated in the present tense

There are no irregular verbs in the future tense though the forms of werden are irregular.

   lesen (to read)

ich werde lesen
du wirst lesen
er wird lesen
wir werden lesen
ihr werdet lesen
sie werden lesen

The sentence frame means that the infinitive form of the main verb comes at the end of the sentence, it does not inevitably follow right after the form of werden:

Ich werde schreiben. (I will write / I am going to write / I am about to write.)
Ich werde einen Brief schreiben (I will write a letter.)
Ich werde morgen einen Brief schreiben. (Tomorrow I will write a letter.)

Futur I is used to express any kind of future action or happening. It does not matter if we have already planned what we are going to do in the future or how much it is sure that the action will happen. It does not matter either if the action will be in progress for some time. We use Futur I to express all these meanings. So, a German sentence with Futur I can have several interpretations:

Er wird ein Buch lesen = He will read a book / He is going to read a book / He is about to read a book / He will be reading a book.

However a future action or happening is not always expressed through Futur I. The present tense can do it as well if there is some kind of other reference (e.g. a time adverb such as morgen “tomorrow”) that the action belongs to the future:

Nächste Woche fährt er nach DeutschlandNext week he will travel / he is going to travel to Germany.
Morgen lerne ich nichtTomorrow I won’t learn / I am not going to learn.

Futur I can have a special meaning. It can express probability in the present. In fact it has the same meaning as the English modal “must”. In this case it is expressed with the present tense in English as the probability refers to the present, not to the future:

Es wird 6 Uhr sein = it must be 6 o’ clock.
Er wird arbeiten = he must be working.


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