11.4. futuro I und futuro II do indicativo

The somehow subtle difference between the going to future and the will future is not made by any language, at least the author of these lines doesn't know any language which makes this distinction and therefore there is no need to discuss this issue here. The futuro I describes an action in the future, I will do it when I have time, the futuro II describes an action as accomplished in the future, I will have done it until tomorrow.

Não o farei amanhã.
I won't do it tomorrow.  
Amanhã viajarei logo que o sol nascer.
Tomorrow, as soon as the sun comes up I will go away.  

However the futur is seldom used in Portuguese to indicate the future. This statement found on the internet is correct.

O futuro do indicativo, apesar do seu nome, hoje raramente é usado para expressar ações futuras. Estaria totalmente fora do Português moderno culto quem dissesse “Em 2002, juro que não cometerei os erros do ano passado”; a forma mais recomendável (e, portanto, a mais adequada para quem procura a “correção”) é “Em 2002, juro que não vou cometer os erros do ano passado”, ou mesmo, em segundo lugar, “Em 2002, juro que não cometo os erros do passado”. O futuro do indicativo (tempo verbal) é mais usado, na verdade, com outras intenções semânticas que não o tempo futuro. Em frases como “Onde andará Maria?” e “Não será ele o culpado”, exprime dúvida ou possibilidade (jamais a idéia de “ação futura”); em frases como “Não matarás” (lembrem-se dos Dez Mandamentos), é um substituto do Modo Imperativo. The future indicative, although its name suggest the opposite, nowadays is rarely used to describe the future. If someone would say “Em 2002, juro que não cometerei os erros do ano passado” [I swear that next year I am not going to make the same mistakes as in 2002] it would be completely incompatible with standard Portuguese. The most recommended way (and therefore the most adequate for people who strive for "perfection") is to say it "“Em 2002, juro que não vou cometer os erros do ano passado”. O futuro do indicativo (verbal tense) is, to tell the truth, more often used with other semantic intentions than expressing the future. In sentences like “Onde andará Maria?” [Where is Maria] and “Não será ele o culpado” [He is not the culprit] it expresses doubt or possibility (and never the idea of an action of the future); in sentences like “Não matarás” [You shall not murder] (remember the ten commandements) it is an alternative for the imperative.
presente indicando futuro

He establishes that a future action can be described and is normally described with the construction ir + infinitivo and rarely with genuine futur tense. Those who speak any roman language know this structure. It is formed with the present tens of the verb ir (to go) and the infinitiv.

eu vou infinitivo
tu vais
ele vai
nós vamos
eles vão

All roman languages and some germanic languages, german for instance, can express doubt, insecurity, probability with the future tense. That doesn't work in English, however it is not hard to understand why this is possible in a lot of languages. The futur is alway insecure. That is the fundamental and most important problem of humanity. If we knew the future, all of us would get rich. That's the basic economic problem. Some people have to try out something in order to see whether it works or not. That allows other people not to do the same error. However, instead of being grateful to these people, they are looked as losers. What people don't understand is that a market economy only works if some people take risks. We understand therefore that doubt and uncertainty can be expressed with the a future tense.

A little bit harder to understand is the use of the futuro as an imperative, "Não matarás" = "You shall not murder". This is possible in Spanish and French as well, however not very usual. If this use is mentioned somewhere, the example given to illustrate this use are always from the The Ten Commandments in the Bible.

The futuro is formed very easily and there are almost no exception, what perhaps is due to the fact that it is seldom used, because in opposite to what seems logical, the most used verbs and forms are the most irregular, rarely used forms and verbs are more regular. That's like that in any language. That might be a casuality or there is a reason for that.

The endings are the same for all three types of verbs. We leave out the endings of the infinitiv, -ar, -ir, -er and we add to what is left, the stem, the respective endings.

futuro I do indicativo cambiar (change) distribuir (distribute) perder (lose)
tu cambiarásdistribuirásperderás
ele / ela
o senhor / a senhora
eles / elas
os senhores / as senhoras



This author would say that there are only three verbs that forms the futuro irregularly.

verbs with an irregular futuro I
fazer (to do): farei, farás, fará, faremos, fareis, farão
trazer to bring): trarei, trarás, trará, traremos, trareis, trarão
dizer (to say): direi, dirás, dirá, diremos, direis, dirão

This is simple, but there is however a big difference between Portuguese and the rest of indogermanic languages, roman languages or germanic languages. In Portuguese exists a futuro I and II do conjuntivo. This tense does not even exists in other languages. After conjunction that indicate that an action, event, proces is going to happen, although it is not clear when it is going to happen, in other words after conjunctions like assim que (as soon as), enquanto (as long as), logo que (as soon as), quando (when), se (supposed), sempre que (any time) we CAN'T use the futuro do indicativo, in this case the futuro do conjuntivo is to be used, see 12.2.5. We will discuss this tense later.

In a sentence like "As soon as he comes, I will ask him", the speaker doesn't doubt that someone else comes. If this were the cause, he would say "If he comes, I will ask him". However there is uncertainty relating the moment WHEN this is going to happen and therefore we use the futuro do conjuntivo. We will see that more in detail later in chapter 12. The issue is a little bit complicated, because the futuro do conjuntivo competes, in Portuguese, with the presente do conjuntivo. We use the presente do conjuntivo if the reality is evaluated subjectively. A distinction between subjective evaluation and objective uncertainty is not made.

futuro do conjuntivo if the moment when an action will happen is uncertain
futuro do conjuntivo
Eu te informo assim que tiver alguma novidade.
futuro do indicativo
Eu te informo assim que terei alguma novidade.
I inform you as soon as I have news.

The same restrictions applies to futuro II. As the futuro II it can be used in subordinated clauses introduced by conjunctions that have a connection to the future.

futuro II do indicativoauxiliary verb ter im futuro I do indicativo past participle
tido (had)
comido (eaten)
escrito (written)
lido (read)
sonhado (dreamed)
saído (left)
tu terás
ele, ela
o senhor, a senhora
eles, elas
os senhores, as senhoras

Eu terei tido.
I will have had.
Ele terá comido.
He will have eaten.
Nós teramos saído.
We will have left.

In grammar books you will find sometimes the term futuro do preterito. However this is the same thing as conditional. The term futuro do conjuntivo makes sense because the conditional is used to describe an event / action that is going to happen in the future from the perspective of the past: He said, he would come.

We will discuss this issue in chapter14. This problem is relevant when an action, event, proces is imagined or is told.

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