The Future | Будущее

Before learning Russian future tense, make sure to familiarize yourself with verb conjugation in present tense and aspects. The usage of future tense in Russian is similar to the usage of aspects. But first, let's look at the formation.

Formation

Perfective future is formed by taking perfective infinitive and conjugating it in present tense. Imperfective future is compound, meaning it takes two words to form it: the verb быть in the correct form plus an imperfective infinitive. Let's take the verb прочитать/читать and see what it's like:

pronoun present tense perfective future imperfective future
я читаю прочитаю буду читать
мы читаем прочитаем будем читать
ты читаешь прочитаешь будешь читать
вы читаете прочитаете будете читать
он, она, оно читает прочитает будет читать
они читают прочитают будут читать

Usage

As we have mentioned above, the difference between perfective and imperfective future is similar to that of perfective and imperfective aspects: roughly, we use perfective future to about single time actions, results and accomplishments and we use imperfective future to talk about on-going actions.

  • - Что сегодня будешь делать? | What are you going to do today?
  • - К экзамену буду готовиться. | I'll be getting ready for the exam. (process)
  • - Сколько ты к нему ещё будешь готовиться? | How much longer are you going to get ready for it? (process)
  • - Думаю, за пять дней подготовлюсь. | I think I will have gotten ready in five days. (result)

  • - Отвези его на вокзал. | Take him to the train station. (request, one-time action)
  • - Сколько я за это получу? | How much am I going to get paid for that? (one time payment)

  • - Будешь его водителем? | Will you be his driver?
  • - Сколько я за это буду получать? | How much will I be getting paid for that? (more-than-one-time payment)

Note that we also often used the prefix по- with perfective form to talk about future activities that will go on for a while.

  • - Пойдём в теннис поиграем. | Let's go play tennis.

  • - Что будем делать? = Что поделаем? | What are we going to do?
  • - Давай кино посмотрим. | Let's watch a movie.

  • - Что будешь делать сейчас? | What are you going to do now?
  • - Книгу почитаю. | I'll read a book.

Often, talking about plans we may use present tense for the future.

  • - Что ты завтра делаешь? | What are you doing tomorrow?
  • - Завтра я иду с друзьями в ресторан. | Tomorrow I'm going to a restaurant with my friends.

  • - Во сколько ты завтра уезжаешь? | What time are you leaving tomorrow?
  • - Я уезжаю в пять. | I'm leaving at five.

  • - Я в эту пятницу не работаю. Давай сходим в кино, посмотрим нового "Человека-паука". | I'm not working this Friday. Let's go to the movies and watch new Spider-Man.
  • - А во сколько он начинается? | What time does it start?
  • - Он начинается в семь. | It starts at seven.

Notice that in Russian we also often use perfective future to suggest an activity or to state out decision. Compare:

  • - Ты пойдёшь с нами на концерт в понедельник? | Will you go to the concert with us on Monday? (suggestion)
  • - Я подумаю и попозже скажу. | I'll think and tell you later. (decision)

  • Разговор между ними спустя некоторое время | a later conversation between them:
  • - Ну что, ты решил? Ты идёшь с нами завтра на концерт? | So, have you decided? Are you going to the concert with us tomorrow? (plan)
  • - Да, пойду. | Yes, I am. (decision)

  • Телефонный звонок между тем, кого пригласили, и другим человеком: | a later conversation between the invited person and another one:
  • - Привет, пойдём сегодня вечером погуляем. | Hey, let's go for a walk this evening. (suggestion)
  • - Я не могу. Я иду на концерт. | I can't. I'm going to a concert. (plan)

For plans in certain cases we also may use the verb собираться.

  • -Что ты собираешься завтра делать? | What are you going to do tomorrow?

  • -Когда ты собираешься жениться? | When are you planning to get married?

  • -Что ты собираешься подарить жене на 8 марта? | What are you going to give your wife on March 8?

Exercises

Translate the sentences into Russian.

  • - What are you going to do tomorrow?
  • - I don't know yet. I might read a book or watch a TV show.

  • - Will you help me solve a problem?

  • - When will you call me?
  • - I'll call you tomorrow.

  • - Will you make dinner, please?
  • - Okay, I will.

  • - Are you going to work tomorrow?
  • - Yes, I am.

  • - What time are you arriving?
  • - I'm arriving at 5pm.
  • - Okay, I'll meet you at the airport.

  • - Next week I'm going to England.
  • - Can I go with you?
  • - And what are you going to do there?
  • - I'll hang with you.

  • - Write me when you come back.

  • - Will you be writing me?
  • - I'll write you every day.

  • - What time does the bank open?
  • - It opens at 10.