French Near Future Tense: Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary

Do you promise to study? Yes, I'm going to study. ('Futur proche')

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The French near future is a verb construction that is used to express something that is going to happen soon, an upcoming event that is going to occur in the near future. In French, it is called futur proche; to avoid misspelling this term, notice that the French spelling of futur does not have an e on the end, unlike "future" in English. 

The Concept of Time

The near future in French, as in English, illustrates the fluidity of time.

There is the straightforward future ("I will eat," or Je mangerai), and there is the near future ("I am going to eat," or Je vais manger), which assumes a time a little earlier than the future. Likewise, in constructions involving the present, there is the straightforward present ("I eat," or Je mange), and there is the continuous present, which assumes a continuous process completed in the present ("I am eating," or ​Je suis en train de manger, meaning "I'm in the process of eating"). The fact that the continuous present action begins in the present prevents any point on the timeline of that continuous action from being considered the near future or future. ​​​

Forming the Near Future

The future proche, or near future, is formed by combining the present of aller, which means "to go," with the infinitive of the action verb, a single word that is the basic, unconjugated form of the verb. This makes the futur proche one of the easiest tenses to construct in the French language, and, as such, fairly foolproof.

That said, it does require the user to correctly spell the present tense of aller.

The Present Tense of 'Aller'

  •    je vais
  •    tu vas
  •    il va
  •    nous allons
  •    vous allez
  •    ils vont

Combine the Present Tense of 'Aller' With an Infinitive

Je vais voir Luc.
I'm going to see Luc.

Il va arriver.
He's going to arrive.

Nous allons manger.
We're going to eat.

Je vais étudier.
I am going to study.

Vas-tu nous aider ?
Are you going to help us?

Nous allons partir dans cinq minutes.
We're going to leave in five minutes.

Additional Resources

Future tense
Verb timeline
Present tense

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Lawless, Laura K. "French Near Future Tense: Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary." ThoughtCo, Aug. 17, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, August 17). French Near Future Tense: Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "French Near Future Tense: Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).