Lesson 13: Introduction to the future tense in Russian

The Russian future tense has two forms: using the imperfective aspect or the perfective aspect. The imperfective future is often called the compound future, and the perfective future is often called the simple future.

For more information go here for the future tense page in our Russian grammar resources.

Formation of the future tense

Imperfective aspect

The imperfective future, also known as the compound future, is formed by combining the auxiliary verb “быть” with your chosen verb’s imperfective infinitive. So, to be able to conjugate the imperfective future, all you need to do is decline быть in the future tense.

For example:

  • я буду делать = I will do
  • ты будешь делать = you will do
  • он будет делать = he will do
  • мы будем делать = we will do
  • вы будете делать = you will do
  • они будут делать = they will do

Perfective aspect

The perfective future, also known as the simple future, is formed by conjugating the perfective infinitive. This future form actually looks the same as that of the imperfective present tense, but they are not the same. After all, there is no present tense in the perfective aspect.

For example:

  • я сделаю = I will do
  • ты сделаешь = you will do
  • он сделает = he will do
  • мы сделаем = we will do
  • вы сделаете = you will do
  • они сделают = they will do

How to use the future tense

Imperfective aspect

Action in the future, without detailing its completion

  • Завтра ты будешь делать домашнее задание. = You will do your homework tomorrow.

Action in progress taking place at some point

  • Завтра я буду смотреть телевизор и отдыхать. = Tomorrow I will watch TV and relax.

Repeated future actions

  • Мы будем отправлять тебе письма каждую неделю. = We will send you letters every week.

Perfective aspect

Action in the future, detailing its completion or result

  • Я сделаю домашнее задание после обеда. = I will do my homework after dinner.

Brief or momentary future actions

  • Когда ты вернешься домой, я поцелую тебя в щёку. = When you arrive home I will kiss you on the cheek.
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