As I explained in a previous post, when we want to talk about the future in Spanish we can use the future simple (or “futuro imperfecto de indicativo“) but this is not the only way we can resort to in order to talk about something that will happen in the future.
As in English, there are other ways of expressing future plans or events. Let’s see them.
- Ir a + infinitive
This is, without doubt, the more common way of talking about the future. It is the equivalent of “going to…” and it’s used in the same way. This expression is used to talk about a future event already planned.
– Tengo las entradas para el concierto de Robbie Williams. Vamos a ir mañana.
– We have the tickets for Robbie Williams concert. We are going to go tomorrow.
- Pensar + infinitive
This expression means exactly the same as “ir a +infinitive” so you can use them without distinction. However you must be careful with the use of “pensar” (‘to think’) because it’s not the same to say: “Pienso en comprarme un coche este verano” (I’m thinking about buying a car this summer) than “Pienso comprarme un coche este verano” (I’m going to buy a car this summer).
- Present tense with future meaning
As in English, the present tense can be used to talk about future events. When we use the present tense with this future meaning we express more certainty than the future simple.
– Mañana al mediodía nos vemos y nos tomamos un café.
– Tomorrow at noon we meet and we have a coffee.
– Te llamo esta tarde.
– I’m calling you this afternoon.