Near Future in Spanish: As Easy as Ir + a + Infinitive

If you’re learning Spanish, ir + a + infinitive is one of the most common verb structures you’ll use. After all, it’s the formula for the near future tense. Since this is a key tense, you’ll learn how to conjugate and use the near future in this guide.

Here is an overview of the things you’ll find in this guide:

I’ll also include examples, so you can see how to use this Spanish tense. Let’s get to it!

How to Conjugate the Near Future in Spanish

As mentioned above, the near future is formed with ir, the preposition a, and one infinitive. When using this structure, ‘ir’ must be conjugated to the present tense.

Here is a quick summary of ‘ir’ in the present tense.

SubjectIr in Present Tense
Él / Ella / Ustedva
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedesvan

Once you’ve conjugated ‘ir’, you’ll fill in the rest of the formula:

[‘Ir’ present tense] + a + [infinitive form]

Mañana voy a ir al cine.
Tomorrow, I am going to go to the movies.

¿Qué vas a hacer este fin de semana?
What are you going to do this weekend?

Unlike other Spanish tenses, the near future does not have endings. Instead, you must use the present form of ‘ir’. 

chart showing the formula for the near future in spanish

Take Note: When the present conjugations of ir are followed by an infinitive, this structure means ‘going to’ in English. As you can see, infinitives are key to conjugating the near future in both languages because it expresses the action someone is going to perform. Without it, the information would be incomplete.  

Order of object and reflexive pronouns

In many cases, a sentence in Spanish near future may require an object or reflexive pronoun. These elements are added to the ir a infinitive formula. When doing so, you have two options:

#1 Place them before the conjugated verb (ir)

[Object or reflexive pronoun] + [‘ir’ conjugated] + a + [infinitive verb]

Se va a bañar.
She is going to shower.

Le vamos a regalar un boleto.
We are going to give her a ticket.

#2 Attach them to the infinitive

[‘Ir’ conjugated] + a + [infinitive verb] + [object or reflexive pronoun] 

Va a bañarse.
She is going to shower.

Vamos a regalarle un boleto.
We are going to give her a ticket.

The meaning of the sentences are exactly the same whether you use option 1 or 2.

How & When to Use the Near Future

Now that you know how to form the near future, let’s see how and when you’re going to use it.

In Spanish, the near future refers to actions that will happen in the near or immediate future. Simply put, it refers to activities that will occur very soon. So, the near future is used to talk about:

Current plans or intentions about the future

[‘Ir’ conjugated] + a + [infinitive verb]

Creo que voy a querer más pastel.
I think I am going to want more cake.

El lunes vamos a ir a jugar boliche.
On Monday, we are going to go bowling.

Mis amigos van a venir a visitarme este año.
My friends are going to come to visit me this year.

Potential outcomes resulting from a current situation

[‘Ir’ conjugated] + a + [infinitive verb]

Si te mojas, te vas a enfermar.
If you get wet, you are going to get sick.

¡Mira qué nublado está! Seguro va a llover.
Look how cloudy it is! It is going to rain for sure.

Actions or events that will take place in the near future

[‘Ir’ conjugated] + a + [infinitive verb]

La película va a empezar a las cinco.
The movie is going to start at five.

vas a saber conjugar el futuro próximo.
You are going to know how to conjugate the near future.

Take Note: Notice that the time markers for the immediate future describe a time close to the present. For that reason, it’s common to use time markers such as este año (this year), a las cinco (at five), el año que viene (next year), el lunes (on Monday), etc. 

graphic with time markers for the near future in spanish

Spanish Grammar: Near Future vs Simple Future

The near and simple future are used to talk about the future in Spanish. However, the difference between these tenses is the nuance and temporary distance you want to express. 

The near future describes actions that will take place very soon.

Mañana voy a ir al dentista.
Tomorrow I am going to the dentist.

On the other hand, the simple future refers to actions that will happen at some point in the future. We use it to discuss plans and make hypotheses about the future.

En unos meses iré al dentista.
I will go to the dentist in a few months.

Because it’s so close to the present, the near future implies certainty, whereas the simple future is not as concrete because it doesn’t refer to upcoming actions. Check the second example. There is so much time between now and then that things can change. Although it’s a future plan, we’re not sure if I’ll actually go.

graphic showing the difference between near future and future simple in spanish

Tip: In conversational Spanish, the near future is seen as an informal version of the future. However, as you’ve learned, these tenses have a minor nuance. 

Key Points: Using Ir + a + Infinitive

When talking about the future actions, you’re more likely to use the near future in Spanish. So, here are some key points you should remember:

  • The near future is formed by conjugating ir to the present tense + a + an infinitive. 
  • It is called near future since it refers to actions that will happen very soon
  • The Spanish near future is used to talk about:
    • Current plans or intentions. 
    • Actions that will occur in the shortly.
    • Potential outcomes resulting from current situations or circumstances. 
  • Object and reflexive pronouns can be placed before ‘ir’ or attached to the infinitive verb.

Download the Immediate Future with Ir in Spanish PDF

Learning Spanish grammar topics such as new tenses can take time. Take advantage of the infinitive form of verbs you already know with my summarized notes and graphics on the near future tense. You can study it later at your own pace and level up your Spanish language skills! 

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

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