Futuro do imperfeito, ir + infinitivo, and present tense to express the future in European Portuguese.

*This is part of the CIPLE A2 exam syllabus. If you are taking the exam, pay close attention to this post’s content and save it in your bookmark to never lose it. *

To express the future in European Portuguese, there are three tenses and grammatical structures you can use:


  1. Futuro do Imperfeito (the future tense) – the most complex and formal. 

This is the most complex one. More conjugations, more irregularities, more headaches. 

The truth is, most of the time, in spoken Portuguese, we do not use the simple future which is why this post does not cover the futuro simples. It is used in formal contexts only. 

O governo investirá mais em educação no futuro.
The government will invest more in education in the future.

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  1. Present Ir + Infinitivo Verb (close future) – the most common. 

In English, the form to be going to + V is used to express something in the near future, especially in casual and spoken speech. 

In Portuguese, the equivalent is the form ir + verb. We use it almost constantly in casual settings to replace the futuro do imperfeito, which we rarely use. 

First, let’s have a little revision:

What is the infinitivo in Portuguese?

Infinitivo simply means the verb in its non-conjugated form, as you probably learned it first.

For example: gostar, ser, amar, ler, jogar, etc. 

How to conjugate ir in the present? 

Eu vou
Tu vais
Ele / ela / você vai
Nós vamos 
Eles / elas / vocês vão 

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How to form ir + infinitivo to express the future in Portuguese? 

Once that’s done, you just take the verb ir as it is, and add your infinitivo. And that’s all. 

No difficult tenses. No complex structures. No need to memorise anything new. And you already know how to talk about future plans. Lazy language learning the way we like it. 


No próximo ano vou passar um mês na Austrália. 
Next year, I’m going to spend a month in Australia. 

Vais comprar algo hoje?
Are you going to buy anything today? 

Nós só vamos mudar para a casa nova daqui a um mês.
We are only moving to the new house in a month. 

Teacher Tip: For Spanish speakers or learners, make sure not to add the preposition “a” between ir and the infinitivo, that is a Spanish structure and it is NOT correct in Portuguese. 


  1. Presente do Indicativo + future adverbs – the lazy choice. 

When you want to express an action or event in the (very) near future, but you can’t be bothered to learn a new tense, here’s your saviour!

Just use the present of the indicativo and an adverb that expresses the future. 

Some of those adverbs: 

    • amanhã (tomorrow)

    • depois de amanhã (the day after tomorrow)

    • na próxima semana (next week)

    • na próxima sexta (next Friday)

    • em breve (soon)

WAIT, WE CAN DO THAT? Yep, sometimes. 

When should I use the Portuguese present tense to talk about the future?
    • Events and actions in the near future

    • Show times, line-ups, transport schedules etc. 

Porque é que ainda não arrumaste o quarto?
Why haven’t you tidied your room yet?

Eu faço isso tudo amanhã.
I’ll do all of this tomorrow.  

O autocarro sai daqui a 3 horas, ainda tenho tempo.
The bus is leaving in three hours, I still have time.

Fazer is conjugated in the present tense – eu faço, not the future tense eu farei. Thanks to the adverb amanhã (tomorrow), it is clear that we are expressing the future. 

Careful! This doesn’t always work. Don’t skip on the future tenses thinking you can get away with using the present all the time. It’s a bit more complicated than that!

Again, this only works for events that happening in the very near future. 

When should I use the Portuguese ir + infinitivo and not the present?

Very similar to the English to be going to, we use ir+ infinitivo in casual and informal conversations to talk about the future. 

Teacher tip: Avoid repeating the verb ir. Don’t use ir+infinitivo with the verb ir.

Don’t say:

Amanhã vou ir à praia. 


Amanhã vou à praia.

Tomorrow I’m going to the beach. 

Practice exercises: 

Choose between ir + infinitivo and presente + future adverbs and comment your answers.

1. Eu …. para o exame amanhã. (estudar) (I am going to study for the exam tomorrow.)

2. Ela … para Paris no próximo mês. (viajar) (She is going to travel to Paris next month.)

3. Nós …  ao concerto no sábado. (assistir) (We are going to attend the concert on Saturday.)

4. Eles … uma nova casa no próximo ano. (comprar) (They are going to buy a new house next year.)

5. Tu… a tocar violão nas férias. (aprender) (You are going to learn to play the guitar during the vacation.)

6. O restaurante …. ao meio-dia. (abrir) (The restaurant is going to open at noon.)

7. Os alunos … um projeto em grupo. (fazer) (The students are going to do a group project.)

8. Amanhã, eles … os avós. (Tomorrow, they are going to visit their grandparents.)

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