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

To express the probability of something happening at the time you are speaking, in Spanish we use El Futuro Simple, also known as El Futuro Imperfecto.

Look at the following examples:

Marcos y Javier todavía no han llegado. ¿Dónde estarán?
Marcos and Javier haven't arrived yet. Where could they be?

Es un poco raro que Paula no esté aquí; estará todavía esperando el autobús.
It is a bit strange that Paula is not here; she is probably still waiting for the bus.

Este lugar no me suena, pero estaremos cerca de Madrid.
This place doesn't seem familiar but we are probably near Madrid.

No tengo reloj pero serán las once y media más o menos.
I don't have a watch but it is probably around half past eleven.

 

ATTENTION:
If the conjecture or expression of probability is about the past, then you use El Condicional Simple: see Using El Condicional Simple to wonder about the past.



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

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Este lugar no me suena, pero estaremos cerca de Madrid.
This place doesn't seem familiar but we are probably near Madrid.


No tengo reloj pero serán las once y media más o menos.
I don't have a watch but it is probably around half past eleven.


Marcos y Javier todavía no han llegado. ¿Dónde estarán?
Marcos and Javier haven't arrived yet. Where could they be?


Es un poco raro que Paula no esté aquí; estará todavía esperando el autobús.
It is a bit strange that Paula is not here; she is probably still waiting for the bus.


Q&A

Alan

Kwiziq community member

6 June 2018

2 replies

This is what we do in English!

(Sorry, this is not really a question, but a hopefully helpful comment.)

Colloquially in English we often use the future tense to express present probabilities or predictions, just like the Spanish.  E.g. We could say "I'm not sure where John is, but he'll be practising his Spanish I should think."  Or "Do you think Fred has arrived home yet? Oh, he'll be relaxing with his feet up by now." 

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

7 June 2018

7/06/18

Good point! We do use English future constructions in a very similar way (the "will" and "going to" forms). I'll chat with the team about the nuances here as I think in Spanish it's much more likely to be used than in English. Thanks for the input!

Alan

Kwiziq community member

18 June 2018

18/06/18

Incidently, we also use the conditional to wonder about the past, as in Spanish.

"I wonder what Beethoven would think of punk rock? Oh, he'd be spinning in his grave I reckon!"

(The parallels are fascinating aren't they!) 

Getting that for you now.