Italian Future Indicative Tense

Il Futuro Semplice

Woman at airport
"Arriverò domani." (I will arrive tomorrow). Hero Images / Getty Images

The future shows a simple fact that has yet to occur or come to fruition:

Arriverò domani.
Terminerò il lavoro entro una settimana.

The future can take value imperative:

Farete esattamente come vi ho detto.
Imparerai questa poesia a memoria.

io brandirò gusterò ridurrò vinificerò
tu brandirai gusterai ridurrai vinificerai
lui, lei, Lei brandirà gusterà ridurrà vinificerà
noi brandiremo gusteremo ridurremo vinificeremo
voi brandirete gusterete ridurrete vinificerete
loro, Loro brandiranno gusteranno ridurranno vinificeranno

Word formation in Italian is the linguistic process (think vocabulary building) in which terms can be transformed from base words to suffissati (suffixed words)—orologio » orologiaio, prefissati (prefixed words)—campionato » precampionato, and composti (compounds)—fermare + carte » fermacarte.

The formation of words enriches the Italian language from within. In fact, it produces new vocabulary—as in orologiaio (watchmaker), precampionato (preseason), fermacarte (paperweight)—starting with vocabulary that already exists—in this case, orologio (watch), campionato (season), fermare (to hold, detain, secure), and carte (paper).

The suffisso (suffix) is the particle that appears at the end of the suffixed, for example -aio in orologiaio. The prefisso (prefix) is instead the particle that appears at the beginning of the prefixed, for example pre- in precampionato. Together, the suffixes and prefixes are known as affixes; the suffix -aio in orologiaio and the prefix pre- in precampionato are, therefore, two affixes.

Composti (compounds) are formed by the merger into a single word of at least two words; this is the case of fermare and carte in the compound word fermacarte.

All Italian speakers can construct, starting from certain basi (bases) and making the necessary modifications, a whole series of new words (the technical term is defined as neoformazione—a compound or derivative recently introduced to the language). So, for example, orologiaio, precampionato, and fermacarte are new words derived from orologio, campionato, fermare, and carte. To go from the base to the new term there are certain rules of transformation.

Word Formation Is Not Simple Addition
The formation of words does not consist in the mere addition of elements: base + suffix = suffixed; prefix + base = prefixed; word + word = compound word. This, in fact, it is only the appearance of the phenomenon. The formation of words instead assumes that the speaker has is fully aware of the meaning of the relationship linking the new word to its base. For example, everyone (or at least native Italian speakers) will recognize in words such as scaffalature and librone a connection to scaffale and libro, but nobody will think that struttura and mattone are linked to strutto and matto. Only in the first case can an equivalence be formulated:

insieme di scaffali has the same meaning as scaffalatura (shelf unit)
grosso libro has the same meaning as librone (big book, tome)

While in the second case:

insieme di strutto (lard as a whole) has a different meaning than struttura (structure)
grosso matto (big madman) has a different meaning than mattone (brick)

As shown, the formation of words in Italian cannot be explained only by taking into consideration the formal relationship that links a base with an affix (-ura, -one, and others); it is also necessary to consider the relationship between the meanings. The formation of words can be divided into three categories: suffissazione (suffixation), prefissazione (prefixation), and composizione (composition).

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Filippo, Michael San. "Italian Future Indicative Tense." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Filippo, Michael San. (2020, August 27). Italian Future Indicative Tense. Retrieved from Filippo, Michael San. "Italian Future Indicative Tense." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).