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Talking about the future (zullen)

Learn how to talk about the future in Dutch with the Dutch Online Academy. Make Dutch grammar exercises and read our explanation in English. Learn Dutch Online for Free with the Dutch online Academy. Exercises and grammar in English and Dutch.

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Future tense in Dutch

Learn how to use the future tense in Dutch with Dutch grammar exercises and explanations from The Dutch Online Academy. Let's get started!

Three ways to talk about the future in Dutch

There are three ways to talk about the future in Dutch. Let's start with the easiest one: by using present tense.

1. presens + time indication

Just use present tense and say when it is going to happen (next year, soon, in 2025, tomorrow, etc). For example:

  • Ik moet morgen werken

You see the conjugated verb (moet) is in present tense. We just add "morgen" to make clear it is tomorrow.

Other examples:

  • Wij kijken vanavond een film.

  • Zondag komt Maria op bezoek.

2. gaan + infinitive

Just use gaan and an infinitive verb. You can combine it with a time indication.

  • Ik ga werken.

  • Ik ga morgen werken.

  • Henk gaat een cursus volgen.

  • Jullie gaan reizen.

3. zullen + infinitive

There are three ways to use zullen.

1. a suggestion

By starting the sentence with zullen you form a suggestion, like you would with shall in English.

  • Zullen we stoppen?

  • Zal ik de was doen?

  • Zullen we naar de bioscoop gaan?

2. a promise

  • Ik zal op tijd komen.

  • Wij zullen er zijn.

  • Ik zal je helpen.

3. a prediction

  • Het zal een succes zijn.

  • Het zal koud worden.

  • Piet zal tevreden zijn.

  • We zullen rijk worden.

  • Tim zal weer te laat zijn.