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🕒 How do we Express the Future in German?

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Duc_ profile picture Duc_May 2022
Both futures in German are expressed quite similar to their English counterparts with the auxiliary verb ”werden” (devenir en français). This verb has 2 meanings. As a full verb it means development, growth, but it’s also the explicit future form of the only verb that has actually a future of it’s own - the auxiliary verb ”sein” (to be).
So the future I of a verb is formed by werden + infinitiv of the verb itself;
future II is formed with werden + particip perfect of the verb + sein.

Example with to go:
Present tense: Ich gehe, du gehst, er geht, wir gehen, ihr geht, sie gehen.
Future I : Ich werde gehen, du wirst gehen, er wird gehen, wir werden gehen, ihr werdet gehen, sie werden gehen
Future II : Ich werde gegangen sein, du wirst gegangen sein, er wird gegangen sein, wir werden gegangen sein, ihr werdet gegangen sein, sie werden gegangen sein.

Also the reason for these constructions is quite simple. The German language family (les langues germanophones) had a lack of future forms. Their need came with the translation of the bible, about the 7th century, when the translation of prophecies of the end of the world required a temporal form of expressing events in the future the monks used the full verb ”werden” (in german) and will/shall (in english).