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Talking About the Future in Portuguese

Below we will discuss the three main methods to talk about the future in Portuguese:

1. Using Ir + Infinitive

Similar to the English construction, to discuss the future, Portuguese uses the verb ir paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to go, followed by a verb in its infinitive form. First let’s see the present tense conjugation for the verb ir, since this is an irregular verb:

verb-icon

ir
to go

Indicativo

Ir – Indicativo – Presente

Nós vamos lá muito.
We go there a lot.

  • eu vou
  • I go
  • tu vais
  • you go
  • ele / ela vai
  • he / she goes
  • você vai
  • you formal go
  • nós vamos
  • we go
  • eles / elas vão
  • they masc. / they fem. go
  • vocês vão
  • you pl. go

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This ir + infinitive phrasing is known as the informal future, since it’s not a separate tense, but is the typical way to talk about the future.
Aside from very formal or literary contexts, this method is the most common. It’s also the easiest, because as long as you can conjugate ir in the present tense, you just need to know the next verb’s infinitive form. Let’s see how this works with the verbs correr and chegar in the examples below.

Eu vou correr paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I am going to run
Ela vai chegar amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She is going to arrive tomorrow
As you may have noticed, the verb ir is conjugated in the present tense, and must agree with the subject it is referring to. It would be a good idea to get very familiar with the conjugation of this verb:
verb-icon

ir
to go

Indicativo

Ir – Indicativo – Presente

Nós vamos lá muito.
We go there a lot.

  • eu vou
  • I go
  • tu vais
  • you go
  • ele / ela vai
  • he / she goes
  • você vai
  • you formal go
  • nós vamos
  • we go
  • eles / elas vão
  • they masc. / they fem. go
  • vocês vão
  • you pl. go

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Tips

  • 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”. In Portuguese, this never happens. Instead, you would say “vou correr”.
  • Even though it seems to make logical sense, you would never use this ir + infinitive construction with the verb ir itself, or with its counterpart, the verb vir paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to come. For example, you shouldn’t say “vou ir” or “ela vai ir” for the translation of “…going to go”. Although it’s sometimes heard in specific regions or other countries (including Brazil), this would make most Portuguese natives cringe! Instead, you would conjugate ir in the present tense, as we will describe in the next section.

2. Using the Present Tense

When it’s clear we’re talking about the future, such as when using a word like amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio tomorrow or an expression like daqui a uma semana paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio a week from now, the present tense can be used:
Eles chegam amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio They arrive tomorrow
Ela faz anos daqui a uma semana paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She will have a birthday a week from now

3. Using “Futuro do Indicativo”

In formal and literary contexts, the futuro do indicativo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio simple future tense is used.
Ela chegará amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She will arrive tomorrow
Eu partirei amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I will leave tomorrow
This is also an easy verb conjugation, because with the exception of only 3 verbs, the conjugation is formed just by adding an ending onto the infinitive verb (-ei, -ás, , -emos, -ão).
Below are a few common verbs, conjugated in the future tense:

verb-icon

falar
to speak

Indicativo

Falar – Indicativo – Futuro

Nós falaremos com ele amanhã.
We will talk to him tomorrow.

  • eu falarei
  • I will speak
  • tu falarás
  • you will speak
  • ele / ela falará
  • he / she will speak
  • você falará
  • you formal will speak
  • nós falaremos
  • we will speak
  • eles / elas falarão
  • they masc. / they fem. will speak
  • vocês falarão
  • you pl. will speak

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verb-icon

estar
to be (temporary or accidental condition)

Indicativo

Estar – Indicativo – Futuro

Vocês estarão recuperados em alguns dias.
You will have recovered in a few days.

  • eu estarei
  • I will be
  • tu estarás
  • you will be
  • ele / ela estará
  • he / she will be
  • você estará
  • you formal will be
  • nós estaremos
  • we will be
  • eles / elas estarão
  • they masc. / they fem. will be
  • vocês estarão
  • you pl. will be

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verb-icon

ter
to have

Indicativo

Ter – Indicativo – Futuro

O carro terá de ser reparado.
The car will have to be repaired.

  • eu terei
  • I will have
  • tu terás
  • you will have
  • ele / ela terá
  • he / she will have
  • você terá
  • you formal will have
  • nós teremos
  • we will have
  • eles / elas terão
  • they masc. / they fem. will have
  • vocês terão
  • you pl. will have

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3 Irregular Verbs

The only irregular verbs in the futuro do indicativo are fazer, trazer, and dizer.
In these cases, we must first replace the ending -zer with -r (to get far, trar, and dir, respectively), before adding the ending:

verb-icon

fazer
to do

Indicativo

Fazer – Indicativo – Futuro

Eu sei que tu farás alguém feliz.
I know you will make someone happy.

  • eu farei
  • I will do
  • tu farás
  • you will do
  • ele / ela fará
  • he / she will do
  • você fará
  • you formal will do
  • nós faremos
  • we will do
  • eles / elas farão
  • they masc. / they fem. will do
  • vocês farão
  • you pl. will do

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verb-icon

trazer
to bring

Indicativo

Trazer – Indicativo – Futuro

O inverno trará muita chuva.
Winter will bring a lot of rain.

  • eu trarei
  • I will bring
  • tu trarás
  • you will bring
  • ele / ela trará
  • he / she will bring
  • você trará
  • you formal will bring
  • nós traremos
  • we will bring
  • eles / elas trarão
  • they masc. / they fem. will bring
  • vocês trarão
  • you pl. will bring

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verb-icon

dizer
to say

Indicativo

Dizer – Indicativo – Futuro

Nós diremos o que quisermos.
We will say what we want.

  • eu direi
  • I will say
  • tu dirás
  • you will say
  • ele / ela dirá
  • he / she will say
  • você dirá
  • you formal will say
  • nós diremos
  • we will say
  • eles / elas dirão
  • they masc. / they fem. will say
  • vocês dirão
  • you pl. will say

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In this unit, we’ll cover the informal future (ir + infinitive) form, since, as we said earlier, it’s the most common. If you want to practice with the more formal futuro do indicativo as well, you can do so in the Verbs section.

Comments

    • At the end of the Learning Note, you can click on “Mark as Complete” and then proceed to the next lesson.

    • With Portuguese, the word never rarely applies, haha. But it’s true that it’s not often used in everyday conversation, unless you intentionally want to sound more sophisticated or formal.

  • I was looking at all the conjugations of ‘ir’ and I see that it too has its own future tense. I’m curious if and how this is ever used. Would I only expect to see it in formal or written contexts?

    • Olá, Michael! That’s correct, the verb ir also has a future tense, but we often use the present tense for the same purpose. The actual future forms sound indeed very formal 🙂 You’re most likely to come across them in very formal speech/writing (it’s usually fine to also use the present tense in formal contexts, though).

  • Very explanation. Basically operates like in French ; so I’m clear enough with this lesson
    Thank you

    • In an isolated sentence using the present tense, it may not be clear whether someone is referring to the present or future, but in context it will make sense.

      So for example, if someone says Amanhã eu venho mais cedo – Tomorrow I’ll come earlier, even though venho is in the present tense, you know it’s referring to the future since they mentioned tomorrow.

      Or, let’s say you were discussing plans to go to the beach with someone and they said Apanho-te em casa! – I’ll pick you up at home! Even though it’s in the present tense and no specific time was mentioned, it’s clear that they mean in the future. It wouldn’t make sense to say I pick you up at home in that context. Similarly, if you said Vou buscar a máquina fotográfica – I’ll go get the camera as you’re walking out the door, it’s implied that you mean you are about to go get the camera.

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