In my past articles I focused on the Subjunctive in Portuguese and all its nuances. In today’s post I will also speak about this verb mood, but this time I will be covering the Future tense.
As you may already know, the subjunctive mood is used very often in Portuguese (unlike what I have heard some people say) when we want to give an opinion, show doubts, express concerns, etc and each tense has a different meaning.
While the Present Subjunctive refers to things that are sure to happen and the Imperfect refers to very unlikely or impossible things, the Future Subjunctive is used mainly to speak about situations we know are very possible and even likely to happen, but we do not know when or where exactly they will take place.
Let me give you an example. When you say, in English “When you go home, tell your mother I have her keys”, you are just using the Present Tense.
In Portuguese, however, we use the Futuro do Conjuntivo (Future Subjunctive), because we are sure that the person is going home, but we do not know exactly when she or he goes. So we are just generally referring to a time in the future, although we do not know exactly when that time will come.
Futuro do Conjuntivo
Go to the third person plural of Pretérito Perfeito do Indicativo and take out the ending “am” (Be aware it is not like in Imperfeito do Conjuntivo, where you take “ram”).
Then, add the endings for Futuro do Conjuntivo:
Estudar => estudar
am => estudar
Look at the examples, for each conjugation:
Estudar => estudar / estudares / estudar / estudarmos / estudarem
Beber => beber / beberes / beber / bebermos / beberem
Abrir => abrir / abrires / abrir / abrirmos / abrirem
Be aware that while with the regular verbs, Futuro do Conjuntivo forms are similar to Infinitivo Pessoal, with irregular verbs that does not happen.
Some examples of irregular verbs:
* TER => tiver / tiveres / tiver / tivermos / tiverem
* DAR => der/ deres/ der/ dermos/ derem
When you are in doubt whether a verb is in Infinitivo Pessoal (IP) or Futuro do Conjuntivo (FC), you just have to check with an irregular verb, as they are different. So, if you have the sentence:
- Se comer a comida, será bom.
And you are questioning yourself whether it is IP or FC just change the verb and make the test:
- Se der a comida, será bom.
Here you already can see it is not IP, because the IP of dar is dar as well, and not der.
1.With “If” to talk about something possible or probable to happen
Se eu for ao cinema, vou comprar pipocas. (It is likely that I am going to the cinema, or at least possible, and if so, I will eat popcorn).
The main sentence can come in:
Presente do Indicativo – when we are speaking informally;
Se + Futuro do conjuntivo + Presente do indicativo (Informal) Se tiver possibilidade, vou ao Brasil.
Futuro do Indicativo – when we want to be more formal;
Se + Futuro do conjuntivo + futuro do indicativo (Formal) Se quiserem, poderâo sentar-se.
Imperativo – when we want to give an order, make a recommendation or ask for something.
Se + Futuro do conjuntivo + Imperativo
Se tiveres tempo, traz-me um copo de água.
2.With certain expressions of time
- Enquanto (while)
- Quando (when)
- Logo que (as soon as)
- Assim que (as soon as),
- Sempre que (Always when)
Quando quiser, pode-me telefonar.
Enquanto puder, vou viajar.
****These expressions can be used with Presente do Conjuntivo too, but when used with Futuro do Conjuntivo, they represent something that it is more likely or possible to happen
**** We can also use these expressions with Indicativo, when we are speaking about actions that are usual or that already happened.
Quando fui ao bar, vi o Ricardo. (Already in the past)
Assim que chego a casa, ligo a televisão. (Usual action)
3. Sentences with relative pronouns, when we want to speak about a possibility in the future
Vou até onde tu fores.
Os alunos que quiserem podem sair depois de acabarem o teste.
Venha com quem quiser (The relative pronoun can be preceded by a preposition).
4 – With repetition of the verb, to reinforce an idea
Presente do Conjuntivo + Futuro do Conjuntivo
Venha quem vier => No matter who comes.
Doa a quem doer => No matter who it hurts/ bothers Faça o que fizer => No matter what it does.
****Literally translated it would be something like “Do as he does” or “Come whoever comes”.
So, what do you think about the Future Subjunctive in Portuguese? Is it difficult, is it easy to understand?
Be as it may, I hope you found my explanations useful and that they can help you tackle this verb mood.
Please leave a comment below so I know how you are doing with the Subjunctive in Portuguese!
Also, do not forget to have fun while learning!
12 thoughts on “Subjunctive in Portuguese – Future Tense”
I was hoping to find an answer here, but I was not able to. Maybe you can help explain why these two examples trigger the futuro do conjuntivo?
Reference: Assimil “Le Portugais” Lição 48, Exercício 1
(2) Poderás fazer tudo o que quiseres.
(3) Não farão o que eu não quiser.
I wonder if it is the the “[tudo] o que” which is somehow less defined that triggers the subjunctive. If so, how might you formulate a rule? What about something like:
Poderás fazer aquel pastel de nata que (quiseres/quererás)? [a specific thing, pastel de nata]
Pardon my mistakes, I am a beginner.
Yes, I think you hit the issue spot on! Those things are not very specific, so you will use the future subjunctive, also because the first verbs are in the future imperfect form (Poderás; Farão). The other example you give, cannot use the Future Subjunctive, because, as you said, you are speaking about something more specific “aquele pastel de nata” – you know and the other person knows which pastel de nata you are speaking about, because you use “aquele”, so in this case you would use the Present simple “Poderás fazer aquele pastel de nata que queres”.
I explain this in much more detail in my courses, which you can find here:
I hope this helps!
Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I was wondering if I might ask you a question. I read a sentence than read “Para aqueles de vocês que forem novos aqui no canal, faco…”. For those of you who are new here… I was confused as to why the future subjunctive was here as opposed to just the present indicative because I do not get a sense of “possibility of the future”. Any insight you could give would be greatly welcomed.
Sometimes we use it even if it is not a sense of possibility in the future, but more a sense of possibility in general. I could also say “Para aqueles de vocês que são novos…”, you are right. But since I am not sure if anyone is really new here in the channel, I then opted to use the Future Subjunctive instead of the Present Simple 🙂
I hope this makes sense! 🙂
This is very helpful. Thank you so much, though it is till so difficult.
Olá 🙂 I am glad this helped! Just keep going and you will get it eventually! I am here to help 🙂 Beijinhos, Mia 🙂
Thank you so much your excellent explanation about future tense.
You are welcome!
I am glad you are enjoying my website and the articles I write!
I thank you for your comment and feedback.
What do you think of ‘desvelar’ “reveal” in this sentence? Futuro do Conjunctivo o infinitivo?
“Mas neles há o desafio de leitura, o desvelar os sentidos que torna essa poesia extraordinariamente rica.”
In fact in this case you have an infinitive working like a noun. “Desvelar” is the (impersonal) infinitive of the verb, and in this case it has as an article before – “o”. When we do this, we want to transform a verb into a noun. This has to do with the dynamic of the language, because we transform a word from a class (in this case, a verb) into another class (in this case, noun). We sometimes do this to create more impact and to enrich the language. In this sentence “o develar os sentidos..” would be the equivalent in English to say “the revealing of the senses…”.
I hope this helps!
Thank you for the helpful answer, that is what I suspected. Muito obrigado!
You are most welcome!
If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to ask =)