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In Spanish, El Futuro Simple is used to express actions that "will happen". These can be actions that will happen soon, e.g. tomorrow or far away in time, e.g. in 10 years. Here are some examples:
Mañana será un día muy especial.Tomorrow will be a special day.
Cuando tengas 18 años podrás conducir.When you're 18 you will be able to drive.
Dentro de 2 años estaré en la universidad.In 2 years I will be at university.
These are actions that the speaker with a good deal of certainty thinks will happen at some point in the future.
But in Spanish El Futuro Simple is also used to express the probability that something "might" happen in the future, and also for something someone "predicts" could happen in the future.
Expressing probability in Spanish with El Futuro Simple
El Futuro Simple, also known as El Futuro Imperfecto, is used when we want to express the probability of something happening in the future.
To convey this "probability" either the tone of the speaker changes to something that expresses an element of doubt or there is something within the sentence that makes you think of this action as a probability, rather than a certain future action.
Look at these examples:
Estoy muy ocupada así que llegaré sobre las doce o doce y media.I am very busy so I might arrive at about twelve or twelve thirty.
Hay un incidente ahí; tendrán que llamar a la policía.There is an incident there; they might have to call the police.
Un árbol se ha caído; los vecinos llamarán al ayuntamiento.A tree has fallen down; the neighbours might call the council.
By reading these examples above you may think they are just simply expressing something that will definitely happen in the future (and that could well be the case). However, they may also have that nuance of probability and somehow uncertainty, as if we were omitting from the sentence: "Lo más probable es que..." (Most probably...) , "No me extrañaría que..." (I wouldn't be surprised if...), "Supongo / Imagino que..." (I guess that...)
Estoy muy ocupada así que [imagino que] llegaré sobre las doce o doce y media.
I am very busy so [I'm guessing] I'll arrive about twelve or twelve thirty.
Predictions in Spanish with El Futuro Simple
El Futuro Simple is also used to predict something that will happen in the future.
Have a look at this sentence:
La pitonisa me dijo: "Conocerás a alguien que cambiará tu vida."The fortune teller told me: "You will meet someone who will change your life."
Con toda esta tecnología avanzada, en 2050 habrá coches voladores.With all this advanced technology, in 2050 there will be flying cars.
In both uses, probability and prediction, often the first part of the sentence establishes the premise that the probability or prediction, expressed using El Futuro Simple, is based on in the second part of the sentence. For example:
Es un hombre muy ambicioso; será muy rico sin duda.He's a very ambitious man; he will become very rich, no doubt.
The first part of the sentence, he is an ambitious man, leads us to predict the second part of the sentence using El Futuro Simple he will become very rich.
El Futuro Simple can also be used to express probability in the present. See Using the simple future in Spanish for prediction, speculation and probability in the present (El Futuro Simple).
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