1. Informal Future
The first is the “informal future”, which is the most common. You simply conjugate the verb ir (to go) in the present tense (vou, vais, vai, vamos, or vão), and follow it with the main verb in its infinitive form. For example:
• Eu vou correr - I’m going to run
• Ela vai chegar amanhã - She’s going to arrive tomorrow
One of the most common traps for learners transitioning from Spanish is to add an a after the ir conjugation, as in the Spanish sentence “Voy a correr”. Do not add the a in Portuguese.
2. Present Tense
When the context is clear, you can just use the present tense to refer to an action happening in the immediate future. For example, Eu pago translates more literally to “I pay”, but if you’re at the café with friends and the check arrives, it’s clear that you mean “I’ll pay”. Similarly, in Eles chegam amanhã (They arrive tomorrow), using the word tomorrow makes it clear that this is a future action.
3. “Futuro do Indicativo”
This is the “official” future tense, but it’s more commonly used in literary contexts, or in more formal interactions. Still, it’s an easy verb conjugation to learn, because with the exception of only 3 verbs, the conjugation is formed just by adding these endings onto the infinitive verb (-ei, -ás, -á, -emos, -ão). For example:
Ela chegará amanhã - She will arrive tomorrow
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