Monday, 26 January 2009

The future tense

The future tense is fairly easy. In English we say 'I will do something' and the will indicates the future. It's the same in German. Ich werde... and add the infinitive at the end of the sentence. So all you have to do is learn the conjugation of the verb werden and you have the future tense for any verb that you already know in German. Wirst du nächstes Jahr nach Deutschland fahren?

Germans also use the present tense to mean the future, as long as there is a word in the sentence that tells you that the action will be in the future - words like tomorrow or next week or next year. Morgen gehe ich wandern. This is how Germans can talk about the future and it is right for them even if it is not right for us. If you know anyone who speaks German you may occasionally hear them miss out the will and say 'I go hiking tomorrow'. It is not a grammatical mistake in German so it is much harder to correct. We don't have this problem in translating from English to German but it is good practice to try translating the present tense to mean the future. However if you are in an exam make sure you use at least one example with werden.

Bis bald

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