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Dutch: Grammar > Future tense

Knowing some of the Dutch grammar will help you understand how the language is build up, and it will also help you to understand the basic phrases better. The Dutch grammar guide presented at LanguageTrav.com should in no way be considered as complete, and if you would like to acquire an in-depth understanding we recomment you to purchase books or DVDs for further learning.

The good news is that especially when you are traveling to The Netherlands, virtually everyone will speak English as a second language. However, it is a polite gesture to ask first.

In Dutch, the future tense is expressed by using the construction gaan (to go) + infinitive for actions which will take place in the near (or immediate) future, and zullen (to shall, will) + infinitive for actions which will take place in the not so near future or when the time of the future action is unknown. In such constructions, the verbs gaan and zullen are used in the simple present tense. The conjugations for the two irregular verbs are shown below.

gaan (to go) zullen (shall, will)
Dutch English
Ik ga. I am going.
Jij/U gaat. You are going.
Hij/Zij/Het gaat. He/She/It is going.
Wij gaan. We are going.
Jullie gaan. You are going.
Zij gaan. They are going.
Dutch English
Ik zal. I will.
Jij/U zult/zal. You will
Hij/Zij/Het zal. He/She/It will.
Wij zullen. We will.
Jullie zullen. You will.
Zij zullen. They will.

In the second person singular of the verb zullen, there are two alternatives which might be used. There is no specific rule as to which form should be used. It largely depends on personal preference. Some examples of the future tense:

Future tense with 'gaan':
  • Ik ga koken. = I am going to cook.
  • Hij gaat een beetje lezen. = He is going to read a littlebit.
  • Wij gaan studeren. = We are going to study.
  • Jullie gaan sluiten. = You are going to close.
  • We gaan morgen vroeg vertrekken. = We are going to leave early tomorrow.
  • Future tense with 'zullen':
  • Ik zal je opbellen = I will call you.
  • Hij zal deze ervaring niet vergeten. = He will not forget this experience.
  • Wij zullen voor het examen goed studeren. = We will study well for the exam.
  • De volgende keer zal ik beter oppassen. = Next time I will take more care.
  • Vocabulary:

    koken = to cook
    een beetje = a little bit
    lezen = to read
    studeren = to study
    sluiten = to close
    morgen = tomorrow, morning
    vroeg = early
    vertrekken = to leave
    opbellen = to call
    ervaring = experience
    niet = not
    vergeten = to forget
    voor = for
    examen = exam
    goed = good, well
    volgende = next
    keer = time
    beter = better
    oppassen = to take care, be careful

    << Present & past perfect Irregular verbs >>

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