Using the future to make assumptions: Italian grammar lesson 69

Key Takeaways

Unlock the secrets of Italian future tense! 🇮🇹 From making educated guesses about the present to speculating on past events, this guide will show you how to express assumptions across different times with ease.

  • Present Assumptions: Use the future simple tense to imply uncertainty in the present. Saying “avrà” instead of “is” adds a layer of speculation, like “He is probably thirty.”
  • Expressing Doubt: The future tense in Italian isn’t just for future events. It’s perfect for when you’re not 100% sure and want to say “I think” or “probably” in English.
  • Where’s Giovanni? Wondering about someone’s whereabouts? “Sarà uscito” translates to “He probably left,” showing you’re guessing, not confirming.
  • Using “Stare + Gerundio”: Combine “stare” with a gerund to make an assumption about ongoing actions, like “Starà studiando” for “She’s probably studying.”
  • Past Assumptions with Futuro Anteriore: To speculate about the past, use “futuro anteriore,” combining future tense auxiliary verbs with a past participle, like “avrà pagato” for “He probably paid.”
  • Future Speculations: For future assumptions, add phrases like “penso che” or “probabilmente” to convey uncertainty, such as “Forse sarà” for “It might be.”

Quick facts

How can the future tense be used in Italian?

Besides future events, it can express assumptions and hypotheses.

What does "avrà trent'anni" imply about Giuseppe's age?

It implies uncertainty; he is probably thirty years old.

How is the future tense used to make assumptions?

By using the future simple, it indicates probable but uncertain information.

How does "sarà uscito" translate in context?

"He probably left," indicating a guess about Giovanni's actions.

Can the future simple be used with "stare + gerundio"?

Yes, it adds uncertainty, e.g., "starà studiando" means "I guess she's studying."

What is the futuro anteriore used for?

To make assumptions about the past, using future auxiliary verbs with the past participle.

How do you form the futuro anteriore?

Use the future tense of "essere" or "avere" with the main verb's past participle.

What does "avrà pagato 50" imply?

It suggests uncertainty about the price, meaning "He probably paid 50."

How do you express assumptions about the future?

Add words like "penso che," "probabilmente," or "forse" for uncertainty.

What does "forse sarà a casa di Lucia" suggest?

It implies uncertainty, meaning "Maybe it will be at Lucia's house."

My Thoughts

How to use the future tense in Italian?

In Italian, the future tense cannot only be used to talk about events or actions that will happen in the future but it can also be used to make assumptions and hypotheses.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Quanti anni ha Giuseppe? Non so, avrà trent’anni…

How old is Giuseppe? I don’t know. He is probably thirty.

Quanto costerà una pizza?

How much do you think a pizza costs?

In the sentences above, the future tense does not indicate a time in the future, but it is used to make an assumption about something we’re not sure of.

🔊
Chi suonerà al concerto? Penso che sarà una band famosa.

How to make assumptions in the present?

As we just saw, the future simple can be used to make assumptions and hypotheses in the present.

In English, this can be translated by adding a probably or I think, as what we are saying is not 100% sure but it is what we assume to be true.

Here are some more examples:

Dov’è Giovanni?
Non so, sarà uscito.

Where is Giovanni?
I do not know. He probably left.

Simply using the future simple form of the verbs adds a degree of uncertainty to the sentence.

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This also works with other constructions, such as stare + gerundio.

-Cosa sta facendo Lucia?
Starà studiando.

-What is Lucia doing?
-I guess she’s studying.

🔊
Dov'è Mara? Sarà in biblioteca.

How to make assumptions in the past?

To create the same kind of structure, but talking about the past tense, we can use the futuro anteriore, (future perfect) which is formed by the future of auxiliary verbs essere (to be) or avere (to have), followed by the past participle of the main verb.

Have a look at the following examples:

Quanto ha pagato? Non so, avrà pagato 50€.

How much did he pay? I don’t know, probably 50€.

Dov’è andato Gabriele? Sarà andato in spiaggia.

Where did Gabriele go? I guess he went to the beach.

🔊
Dove sarà il libro? Sarà sulla scrivania.

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

How to make assumptions in the future?

In the future, on the other hand, if you want to make an assumption, you need to add extra words such as penso che (I think), probabilmente (probably), immagino che (I imagine that), etc.

Dove sarà la festa di Capodanno? Non so,  forse sarà a casa di Lucia.

Where will the New Year’s party be? I don’t know. Maybe it will be at Lucia’s house.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

FAQs

How to use the future tense in Italian?

In Italian, the future tense is used for talking about events or actions that will happen in the future and also to make assumptions and hypotheses.

How to make assumptions in the present?

It does not indicate a time in the future, but it is used to make an assumption about something we're not sure of. Or using "stare" + gerund. In English can be used adding probably or I think.

How to make assumptions in the past?

By using the future perfect (the future of auxiliary verbs essere or avere + the past participle of the main verb).

How to make assumptions in the future?

By adding words such as penso che, probabilmente, or immagino che among others.

Italian word of the day
capivo
Example
Non capivo più niente dal sonno.
I was so tired that I couldn’t think.
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