Potere, volere, and dovere
As we saw in a previous lesson about the irregular future tense, we use the future tense to talk about something that will happen or will be true in the future.
In Italian, we mainly use the present tense to talk about the future. However, it’s important to know how to use and spot the future tense.
In today’s short lesson, we’re going to focus on the conjugation of the future of potere, volere, and dovere.
These verbs are irregular, which means they do not follow a predictable conjugation pattern. So, we just need to know it by heart.
In any case, we can easily spot the future tense because of the presence of the letter “r” in the conjugation.
Potere, volere, and dovere are usually followed by other verbs in the infinitive (the base form, like “mangiare”, “bere”, and “dormire”).
For now, let’s just look at some examples with the three verbs:
Non potrò venire quest’estate.
I will not be able to come this summer.
Luigi non vorrà andare al mare.
Luigi will not want to go to the sea.
Dovrete pulire tutto.
You will have to clean everything.
The verb potere simply means “can” or, in other words, “to be able to”. We use it to talk about a possibility.
Let’s have a look at the conjugation of this verb in the future tense:
- Io potrò, tu potrai, lui/lei potrà, noi potremo, voi potrete, loro potranno
Here are some examples:
Purtroppo, stasera non potremo venire.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to come tonight.
Certo che potrai andare in vacanza.
You will be able to go on holiday for sure.
This verb means “to want to”. We use it when we want to express our will to do something.
Here’s its conjugation in the future:
- Io vorrò, tu vorrai, lui/lei vorrà, noi vorremo, voi vorrete, loro vorranno
And here’re some examples:
Lei non vorrà mangiare fuori.
She will not want to eat outside.
Cosa vorranno fare?
What will they want to do?
Dovere means “must” or “to have to”. We use it to talk about an obligation or necessity.
Let’s have a look at the conjugation of dovere in the future tense:
- Io dovrò, tu dovrai, lui/lei dovrà, noi dovremo, voi dovrete, loro dovranno
Let’s now look at some examples:
Cosa dovrete comprare?
What will you have to buy?
Dovremo studiare tanto per quell’esame.
We’ll have to study a lot for that exam.
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