Using El Futuro Simple (simple future) to express probabilities or predictions in the future

El Futuro Simple, also known as El Futuro Imperfecto, is used when we want to express the probability of something happening in the future:

Look at these examples:

Estoy muy ocupada así que llegaré sobre las doce o doce y media.
I am very busy so I might arrive at about twelve or twelve thirty.

Hay un incidente ahí; tendrán que llamar a la policía.
There is an incident there; they might have to call the police.

Un árbol se ha caído; los vecinos llamarán al ayuntamiento.
A tree has fallen down; the neighbours might call the council.

El Futuro Simpleis also used to predict something that will happen in the future.

Have a look at this sentence:

La pitonisa me dijo: "Conocerás a alguien que cambiará tu vida."
The fortune teller told me: "You will meet someone who will change your life."

In both uses, probability and prediction, often the first part of the sentence establishes the premise that the probability or prediction, expressed using El Futuro Simple, is based on in the second part of the sentence. For example:

Es un hombre muy ambicioso; será muy rico sin duda.
He's a very ambitious man; he will become very rich, no doubt.

The first part of the sentence, he is an ambitious man, leads us to predict the second part of the sentence using El Futuro Simple he will become very rich.

See also Using El Futuro Simple (simple future) for prediction, speculation and probability in the present for probability in the present.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

La pitonisa me dijo: "Conocerás a alguien que cambiará tu vida."
The fortune teller told me: "You will meet someone who will change your life."


Hay un incidente ahí; tendrán que llamar a la policía.
There is an incident there; they might have to call the police.


Estoy muy ocupada así que llegaré sobre las doce o doce y media.
I am very busy so I might arrive at about twelve or twelve thirty.


Habéis sido muy estudiosos; aprobaréis todos.
You have all been very studious; you will all pass.


Un árbol se ha caído; los vecinos llamarán al ayuntamiento.
A tree has fallen down; the neighbours might call the council.


Es un hombre muy ambicioso; será muy rico sin duda.
He's a very ambitious man; he will become very rich, no doubt.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 5 answers

DougC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Using future tense for prediction/probability vs regular future

How does one know if

"Hay un incidente ahí; tendrán que llamar a la policía."

should be translated as

1) There is an accident there; they MIGHT have to call the police (probability)

vs

2) There is an accident there, they WILL have to call the police (statement of fact)

Thanks

Asked 9 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Doug

We are giving in the English translations "might" to convey the probability of that happening in the future. If we give straight away the future in the English it is pretty much giving it away. This way the student needs to associate the "probability" with the future tense in Spanish.

Hope this helps,

Saludos

Inma

Using future tense for prediction/probability vs regular future

How does one know if

"Hay un incidente ahí; tendrán que llamar a la policía."

should be translated as

1) There is an accident there; they MIGHT have to call the police (probability)

vs

2) There is an accident there, they WILL have to call the police (statement of fact)

Thanks

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William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Expressing probabilities

 I noticed that " me pregunto cuándo van a llegar" was one of the options in this exercise.  Could I have used "van a llegar' instead of "llegaràn" to express probability

Asked 9 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola William

You could use "van a llegar" here, but the reason why is because the beginning of the sentence is actually the part that is already conveying the "probability/conjecture" -> "Me pregunto...".

Maybe it is not a good idea to include that option within the possible answers.

For other sentences you would have to use the simple future "llegarán" to express the probability/conjecture about the future. For example:

Estoy muy ocupada así que llegaré sobre las doce o doce y media.

I am very busy so I might arrive at about twelve or twelve thirty.

If you were to use "voy a llegar" here, it would sound very definite, as if you knew for sure you are going to arrive at that time.

Hope this clarifies it.

Saludos

Inma

William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Yes, it does. Thank you

Expressing probabilities

 I noticed that " me pregunto cuándo van a llegar" was one of the options in this exercise.  Could I have used "van a llegar' instead of "llegaràn" to express probability

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LindaC1Kwiziq community member

I am confused about “might”. Another test used subjunctive with: What Maria might say is not important. : Lo que María ___ no tiene importante.

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Linda

Sorry, I can't find this sentence you are referring to in this lesson about using El futuro Simple, "Lo que María ___ no tiene importancia." What is your doubt? Using the subjunctive or the future here?

Inma

LindaC1Kwiziq community member
My confusion is how we will know in conversation if “might” should trigger the future like in this lesson or it should trigger the subjunctive as in the example above, which was in another lesson.  I am sorry I can’t find the lesson now but I believe that this example used the Subjunctive

I am confused about “might”. Another test used subjunctive with: What Maria might say is not important. : Lo que María ___ no tiene importante.

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