Ways to express the future in German

To express actions which will happen in the immediate future, German most commonly uses the present tense, often with a time expression indicating the future.

Ich fahre nächste Woche nach Berlin
I'm drivng to Berlin next week.

Note that English expresses the future often with the present progressive (I am going). There is no corresponding German "progressive" tense; the equivalent tense is the simple present tense, i.e. ich gehe

The Future Tense

There is, however, in German, as in English, a future tense constructed with a helping verb.

Ich werde nach Berlin fahren.
I will drive to Berlin.

In English the helping verb is will or shall; in German it is werden, to which the infinitive of the main verb is added to construct the tuture.

ich werde
du wirst
er wird

wir werden
Ihr werdet
Sie werden

Usage of the Future tense

Wir werden euch bestimmt besuchen.
We're visit you for sure.

The German future is used most commonly when the context does not make the time reference clear. If a time reference is included, German prefers use of the present tense.


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