The German Future Tense - Futur 1


How to Use the Future Tense 1

Within a few lines you are going to know when to use the future tense 1 (Futur 1). Of course it is a future tense, but a lot of the time when Germans talk about the future, they also use the present tense. (Heute abend gehe ich ins Kino. Morgen machst du Frühstück. - Tonight I'm going to the movies. Tomorrow you're making breakfast.), but the future tense 1 is still useful in some situations. Remember the following 4 Ps.

Predictions     Presumptions     Promises     Plans


The future tense 1 is used to predict things.


Gleich werden Sie wissen, wie man das Futur 1 benutzt. - Soon you will know how to use the future tense 1.
In wenigen Wochen werden die Tigerbabies ihre Mutter bereits beim Jagen begleiten. - Within a few weeks the tiger cubs will go hunting with their mother.
Wie es aussieht, wird Marie bald ein Baby bekommen. - The way things look, Marie is going to have a baby soon.


The future tense 1 is also used when we presume or assume something - even if we are talking about the present!


Rosi sieht furchtbar aus. Sie wird immer noch Lothar hinterher trauern. - Rosi looks horrible. I bet she is still heartbroken over Lothar.
Nach drei Jahren in Italien wird er schon ein paar Worte Italienisch können. - After three years in Italy I'm sure she can speak a few words of Italian.
Nach all dem harten Training werden sie schon unter die erste fünf kommen. - After all this hard training I'm sure they'll be among the first five.


When you promise something, it is about the future. This is how you can remember that the future tense 1 is also used for promises.


Ich werde nie wieder zunehmen. - I will never gain weight again.
Ich werde ab jetzt jeden Morgen mein Bett machen. - From now on, I will make my bed every morning.
Wir werden uns auch ganz bestimmt gut benehmen. - We promise we will behave.


Although, most of the time, the simple present is used to talk about future plans, sometimes the future tense 1 is also used.


Nach dem Urlaub werde ich eine Diät machen. (Future tense 1) - After this vacation, I'm going on a diet.
Nach dem Urlaub mache ich eine Diät. (simple present) - After this vacation, I'm going on a diet.

Both sentences mean the same.

How to Use the Future Tense 1

As you saw, the future tense 1 always consists of two parts:

Teil 1: simple present of "werden" (Ich werde eine Diät machen. - I'm going on a diet.)

Teil 2: infinitive (Ich werde eine Diät machen.)

These two parts are often separated from each other by different sentence parts. The rule is that Part 1 (present tense of "werden") immediately follows the person doing the action (Ich werde...), while Part 2 stands at the end of the sentence (...eine Diät machen.).


Sie werden doch wohl nicht weggehen! - They are not going to leave, are they?
Wir werden euch gewiss nicht enttäuschen. - We will certainly not disappoint you.
Er wird das Abitur schon wieder nicht schaffen. - He is not going to pass his A-levels again.

However, if a relative clause follows ("...dass es gar nicht so einfach ist." - "...that it is not all that easy." or "...was wir schon geschafft haben." - "...what we have already accomplished."), Part 1 and Part 2 stay together.


Er wird sehen, dass es gar nicht so einfach ist. - He will see that it is not all that easy.
Marie wird sich wundern, was wir schon geschafft haben. - Marie will be surprised what we have already accomplished.

If the future tense 1 appears in a question, Part 1 stands at the beginning, and Part 2 at the end of the question.

Wird dieser Fall denn wirklich eintreten ? - Is this really going to happen?
Werden die beiden nun tatsächlich heiraten? - Are the two of them really getting married after all?
Wird er es rechtzeitig herausfinden? - Is he going to find out on time?

If the question contains other question words like "Wann?" (when), "Woraus?" (where from) or "Woher?" (how), the question word begins the question, and the rest stays the same.


Wann wird er es endlich schaffen? - When is he finally going to make it?
Woraus werden wir die Mittel dafür beziehen? - Where are we going to get the means from?
Woher werde ich wissen, dass Sie es sind? - How do I know it's you?

Promise me that from now on you will use the future tense 1 occasionally whenever you speak German!

Learn how to differentiate between German verb types in order to conjugate all of them correctly! Read:
Strong, Weak, and Mixed Verbs in German. For a list of all German verbs and their conjugation click here: German Verbs