Why Germans aren’t friends with the future tense

Without a doubt, German is a weird language that has some loose ends, and some compromises, but is still spoken by millions of people around the world. This means that the language is special at some point. Apart from sharing 60 percent of its vocabulary with English, German is different when it comes to applying tenses. In addition to understanding the importance of learning the German pronunciation, it is also important to know which tenses Germans use and which ones they neglect, unless necessary.

In English, tenses can be classified as present, past, and future, with a further classification of simple, perfect, and continuous. However, when you study German in a German Language Institute in Delhi, you will be surprised to see that the future tense in German is a negligible element. Germans hardly use the future tense!

Do Germans have a future tense?

There is only one main future tense, in the German language that is formed with the verb werde and the infinitive of the main verb. Here are some German future tense examples:

  • ich werde zum Strand gehen– I will go to the beach
  • Ich werde meine Hausaufgaben machen– i will complete my homework
  • Ich werde morgen spazieren gehen– I will go for a walk tomorrow

These are standard examples that show how the future tense should ideally be used in a sentence. However, the fact is that Germans hardly use the future tense. Instead, what they do is, they use the present tense to express the future tense. Here are some German future tense examples:

  • Ich gehe morgen schwimmen– I go swimming tomorrow
  • Ich hole dir eine Jacke.- I get you a jacket
  • Morgen besuchen wir die Kirche– we visit the church tomorrow.

In the above examples, the word werde is not used. See the difference?

Why is the German future tense a rare occurrence in German sentences?

The answer is quite simple. Germans find it easier to use the present tense rather than werde while they speak. They don’t exactly stress about the future, they only live in their past! (If you know what we mean)

A thought that must have crossed your mind is: why is the future tense even there is it isn’t used?

Well, as we said earlier, the future tense is not entirely neglected but is used rarely. Here are some situations where future tense can be used:

  • To emphasize certain assumptions

The Germans use the future tense in a few sayings, and also when they need to emphasize certain assumptions.

For example:

Er wird die ganze Zeit kochen- he will be cooking the whole time

  • To avoid misunderstandings

If the Germans don’t add a future context to their sentences, no one will understand whether he or she’s talking about the past present or future, hence creating misunderstandings.

Adding a context

Since Germans don’t use the future tense proactively, adding a context is imperative while they speak German. Specifying a timeline like next week, next month, in a few hours, tomorrow, then etc is important to depict that they’re talking about the future.


So whenever you’re in doubt, make use of the present tense. After all, that’s what Germans do! Learn the German language from the best German Language Courses in Delhi and get more insight about the German facts!

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