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Italian Future Tense Made Easy: A Complete Guide

Scientists say that time travel is impossible. But this is only true in a physical sense. When it comes to languages, we can indeed travel through time.

We can remember past events, as we have seen in our lesson on the Italian past tense, and we can look ahead to what’s to come with… you guessed it: the Italian future tense. That is what this lesson is about.

So let’s hop into our DeLorean and get started right away!

When do you use the Italian future tense?

The Italian future tense is used to describe actions that will take place in the future. There are two future tenses in Italian:

  • futuro semplice
  • futuro anteriore

You use the Italian future tense also for:

  • making promises
  • making plans
  • making assumptions
  • expressing doubts


  • Promettimi che non lo farai mai più!
    Promise me you will never do that again!
  • Dopodomani riporterò il libro in biblioteca.
    I will return the book to the library the day after tomorrow.
  • Vai già via? Non sarà nemmeno mezzanotte!
    You’re leaving already? It won’t even be midnight!
  • Pioverà stasera?
    Will it rain tonight?

When making plans, it’s also common to use the present tense instead of the future tense (you can use both). This is particularly common in spoken language:

  • Domani parto per la Sardegna.
    I’m leaving tomorrow for Sardinia.


  • Domani partirò per la Sardegna.
    I’ll leave tomorrow for Sardinia.

The Italian future tense is also used to downplay a statement, such as in:

  • Questa poltrona sarà anche comoda, ma è troppo cara per me.
    This armchair may be comfortable, but it is too expensive for me.
  • Mattia avrà anche 20 anni, ma si comporta come se ne avesse 5.
    Mattia may be 20 years old, but he acts like he is 5.

That said, let’s talk about the most common (and easiest) Italian future tense: the futuro semplice.

The first Italian future tense: Futuro semplice

The futuro semplice, “simple future”, corresponds to the English future simple tense: He will cook, I will eat, you will clean up…

In English you only need one helper verb, will, to conjugate any verb in the future tense. However, the Italian futuro semplice uses verb endings.

To conjugate any regular verb in this tense, take the stem (or root) of the verb (remove -are, -ere or -ire) and add the endings you find in the table below, depending on who the subject is.

cammin-are (to walk) mett-ere (to put) sent-ire (to hear)
io… camminerò metterò sentirò
tu… camminerai metterai sentirai
lui/lei… camminerà metterà sentirà
noi… cammineremo metteremo sentiremo
voi… camminerete metterete sentirete
loro… cammineranno metteranno sentiranno

I know, I know: there are so many endings! One for every subject! But if you look closely, you will see that the endings of -are and -ere verbs are the same, while the endings of -ire verbs differ only in the vowel (e becomes i).


  • Arriverò dopo le otto. Non aspettarmi.
    I will arrive after eight o’clock. Don’t wait for me. (arriv-are)
  • Finiremo di pitturare il muro domani.
    We’ll finish painting the wall tomorrow. (fin-ire)
  • Quale delle due squadre vincerà la partita?
    Which of the two teams will win the game? (vinc-ere)
  • Il gatto prenderà il topo.
    The cat will catch the mouse. (prend-ere)
  • Dormirò sul divano.
    I will sleep on the couch. (dorm-ire)
  • Se continui a innaffiare i fiori, moriranno.
    If you keep watering the flowers, they will die. (mor-ire)

Futuro semplice of essere and avere

It is imperative that you learn the Italian future tense conjugations for essere and avere very well.

We will see later in this lesson why they are so important to know, but for now, read the following table aloud as often as you like:

essere (to be) avere (to have)
io… sarò avrò
tu… sarai avrai
lui/lei… sarà avrà
noi… saremo avremo
voi… sarete avrete
loro… saranno avranno


  • Fra due giorni saremo in spiaggia.
    In two days we will be at the beach.
  • Un giorno avremo una casa tutta nostra.
    Someday we will have a house of our own.
  • Quanti anni ha Stefano? – Avrà circa 30 anni.
    How old is Stefano? – He must be about 30 years old.

Other irregular conjugations of the Italian future tense

A number of -are verbs will keep their -a- vowel in all the singular + loro conjugations. The verb fare belongs to this group.

stare (to stay) dare (to give)
io… starò darò
tu… starai darai
lui/lei… starà darà
noi… staremo daremo
voi… starete darete
loro… staranno daranno


  • Domani sera daremo una festa. Ci sarete?
    We are having a party tomorrow night. Will you be there?
  • Valeria è in ritardo. Cosa starà facendo?
    Valeria is late. What could she be doing?

To retain the hard quality of their consonant, verbs ending in -care and -gare add an -h- to all their conjugations. Common verbs in this group are giocare, pagare, cercare, spiegare, litigare, seccare.

giocare (to play) pagare (to pay)
io… giocherò pagherò
tu… giocherai pagherai
lui/lei… giocherà pagherà
noi… giocheremo pagheremo
voi… giocherete pagherete
loro… giocheranno pagheranno


  • Togliti le scarpe, o sporcherai tutto il pavimento.
    Take off your shoes, or you’ll get the whole floor dirty.
  • La pagherai cara!
    You will pay dearly for this!

Verbs that end in -ciare and -giare drop their -i-. Common verbs in this group are cominciare, assaggiare, viaggiare, mangiare.

cominciare (to start) assaggiare (to taste)
io… comincerò assaggerò
tu… comincerai assaggerai
lui/lei… comincerà assaggerà
noi… cominceremo assaggeremo
voi… comincerete assaggerete
loro… cominceranno assaggeranno


  • Mangerò la torta stasera.
    I will eat the cake tonight.
  • Cominceremo presto a lavorare.
    We will start working soon.

A number of -ere verbs drop their vowel altogether, following the irregular conjugation of avere. The very common verb andare belongs to this group (note that this is actually a -are verb), as do other common verbs such as vedere, dovere, potere, sapere, vivere, cadere.

andare (to go) vedere (to see)
io… andrò vedrò
tu… andrai vedrai
lui/lei… andrà vedrà
noi… andremo vedremo
voi… andrete vedrete
loro… andranno vedranno


  • Dove andrete in vacanza quest’anno?
    Where are you going on vacation this year?
  • Vedrò cosa posso fare.
    I’ll see what I can do.

Some other -ere verbs also undergo a change in their root by adding a -rr- cluster. The very common verb venire belongs to this group, as do bere, rimanere, volere, tenere, tradurre.

venire (to come) bere (to drink)
io… verrò berrò
tu… verrai berrai
lui/lei… verrà berrà
noi… verremo berremo
voi… verrete berrete
loro… verranno berranno


  • Pensi che Marta e Fabrizio verranno alla festa?
    Do you think Marta and Fabrizio will come to the party?
  • Ho sete. Berrò una birra.
    I’m thirsty. I’ll have a beer.

The second Italian future tense: Futuro anteriore

Note: This is an intermediate topic, so it’s perfectly fine for you to stop reading here and come back to this lesson at a later stage once you’ve grasped the workings of the simple Italian future tense.

The futuro anteriore is the second Italian future tense and it’s a compound tense. This means that it’s made up of two verbs: a helper verb and the past participle of the main verb.

The helper verb is either essere or avere, conjugated in the futuro semplice tense. See why these conjugations are so important?

Here are a few example conjugations:

tornare (to return) prendere (to take)
io… sarò tornato avrò preso
tu… sarai tornato avrai preso
lui/lei… sarà tornato/a avrà preso
noi… saremo tornati avremo preso
voi… sarete tornati avrete preso
loro… saranno tornati avranno preso
partire (to leave) comprare (to buy)
io… sarò partito avrò comprato
tu… sarai partito avrai comprato
lui/lei… sarà partito/a avrà comprato
noi… saremo partiti avremo comprato
voi… sarete partiti avrete comprato
loro… saranno partiti avranno comprato

When to use the futuro anteriore

Anteriore means “prior”. The futuro anteriore is used to describe future actions that take place before another future action, roughly corresponding to the English future perfect simple tense.

We have already seen the futuro semplice conjugations for essere and avere, so let’s make an example right away with this new Italian future tense:

  • Non mangerò finché non avrò finito i compiti.
    I will not eat until I finish my homework.

Let’s analyze this sentence. In the first part, we have a simple future tense: non mangerò, I will not eat. The second part of the sentence can be translated literally as “as long as I will not have finished my homework”.

First you finish your homework, then you eat. In our sentence, the action of finishing your homework happens before the action of eating, so we will introduce this action with the futuro anteriore tense.

Not quite getting it? Let’s make another example:

  • Una volta che avrai preso la patente, ti compreremo una macchina.
    Once you get your license, we will buy you a car.

Here we start the sentence with the futuro anteriore tense. First you will get your driver’s license, then the speakers (presumably your parents) will buy you a car. The action of getting the license must be introduced by the futuro anteriore tense because it takes place before the other action, which is introduced by the futuro semplice tense (ti compreremo, we will buy).

The futuro anteriore is also used to make assumptions, just like the simple Italian future tense. In this case, we will use it to introduce an action that we think probably happened in the past, as in:

  • Sono già le tre. Luca sarà ormai tornato a casa.
    It is already three o’clock. Luca must have come back home by now.

Notice how the English sentence doesn’t even use a future tense.

When to use essere or avere in the Italian future tense

As a rule of thumb:

  • transitive verbs use avere
  • intransitive verbs, reflexive verbs and movement verbs use essere

A transitive verb is a verb that is compatible with a direct object:

  • Non assaggerò la torta.
    I will not taste the cake.
    (I will not taste what? The cake. So the direct object is the cake.)

An intransitive verb is not used with a direct object:

  • La lezione inizierà alle 8.
    The class will begin at 8.
    (“At 8” isn’t a direct object.)

Here are some examples:

  • Non ti alzerai dal tavolo finché non avrai mangiato le verdure.
    You will not get up from the table until you have eaten your vegetables.
  • Sono già le otto e mezza. La lezione sarà già iniziata!
    It is already half past eight o’clock. The class must have already begun!
  • Federico va a letto molto presto. A quest’ora si sarà già addormentato.
    Federico goes to bed very early. By this time he must have fallen asleep.
  • Avrò letto più di 2.000 libri.
    I must have read more than 2,000 books.
  • Pensi che Paolo avrà preparato qualcosa da mangiare?
    Do you think Paolo has prepared something to eat?

There’s nothing like practice to reinforce what you’ve learned (and Clozemaster is a wonderful resource to practice Italian), so try to come up with topics you’d like to talk about and share them in a comment! For example, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Are you still in school/college, and if so, what is your dream job? Here are some suggestions:

  • Fra 10/20/30 anni abiterò in…
    In 10/20/30 years I will be living in…
  • Avrò una macchina e…
    I will have a car and …
  • Lavorerò in un ufficio e…
    I’ll be working in an office and…

Notice how the simple Italian future tense also translates to the English future progressive tense! It’s convenient, isn’t it? Buono studio! 🙂

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