How to Use the Future Tense in Spanish to Express Probability

In this lesson you will learn how to use the future tense in Spanish to express probability. The future tense is not only used to denote actions that will occur in the future. Unlike in the English language, the tense of the future is used in this manner in the Spanish language. Many beginner students have trouble Spanish Magazine 
truly grasping this concept since it does not exist in the English language. Rest assured that after reviewing this lesson, you will feel comfortable using the tense of the future in Spanish in order to indicate probability.

When there is doubt, conjecture, or probability in the present, the future tense is used. In English you would most likely use words such as could, wonder, probably, suppose, assume, etc. You could say, for example, “I wonder who he is?” but in Spanish you would say, “me pregunto ¿quién será?”

Take a look at the following examples:

Present probability in Spanish Present probability in English
Serán las cuatro de la mañana – It must be four in the morning
No entiendo a Juan ¿Me amará? – I don’t understand Juan, I wonder if he loves me.
Tendrá mucho dinero – He/she must have a lot of money
¿Habrán llegado a España? – Do you suppose they have arrived to Spain?
¿Cómo estará la señora García? – I wonder how Mrs. García is doing
¿Quién será el maestro? – Who could the teacher be?
Estará enfermo – He is sick, I assume.
Tendrá cincuenta años – He is probably fifty years old

Just be aware that you understand the context because the meaning may change. Read the third sentence, for example, “tendrá mucho dinero” could mean either “he or she will have a lot of money” or “he or she must have a lot of money.”

Now that you know how to use the future tense in Spanish to express probability, it would be a good idea to practice making up some sentences using the future tense to create more examples. Through lots of practice you will master this topic of Spanish grammar.

In closing, I will list a couple of learning-Spanish tools that my own students have found helpful for learning this and other topics of the Spanish language:

1. Verbarrator (Spanish verb conjugation software from Learning Like Crazy)
2. Mastering Spanish Vocabulary – A Thematic Approach by Jose Maria Navarro and Axel J. Navarro Ramil.
3. Read and Think Spanish by The Editors of Think Spanish Magazine

All of the above products are available at

Rosy Guerra is an instructor who teaches both Spanish and English. She is also a native Spanish speaker from Guatemala. If you would like to get FREE instant access to her downloadable PDF report “The Top 101 Products For Learning Spanish” visit her web site Verbs in Spanish



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