The Serbian Future Tense (budu Će Vreme)


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THE SERBIAN FUTURE TENSE (BUDUĆE VREME)
There are three ways to make future tense. Formula 1 is the easiest, Formula 3 is the hardest, but it’s the most commonly used. Don’t give up! Learn Formula 1 or 2 first and then later tackle Formula 3.

FORMULA 1:

PRESENT TENSE OF HTETI ‘WANT’ + INFINITIVE VERB

The present tense of ‘hteti’, meaning ‘want’ or ‘will’ is discussed in more details in the section that deals with present tense of irregular verbs. For convenience, below I provide the table of all present tense forms of ‘hteti’. The infinitive verb is the verb that is listed in the dictionary.

Table 1: Present tense of 'hteti’ want/will

Person

Short (clitic) forms

Ja (I)

ću

Ti (you)

ćeš

On/ona/ono (he/she/it

će

Mi (we)

ćemo

Vi (you)

ćete

Oni/one/ona (they)

će

Note: To make future tense, we need to use clitic

forms of ‘hteti’

Full (non-clitic) forms hoću hoćete hoće hoćemo hoćete hoće (short or unaccented)

Table 2: Examples of future tense using Formula 1

The examples below mean ‘I/you/he/… will go’

Person

‘hteti’

Infinitive verb

ići (go)

Ja (I)

ću

Ići

Ti (you)

ćeš

ići

On/ona/ono (he/she/it) će

ići

Mi (we)

ćemo

ići

Vi (you)

ćete

ići

Oni/one/ona (they)

će

ići

Larisa Zlatic

Larisa Zlatic Language Services http://www.studyserbian.com

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The second way to make the future tense is to add the clitic forms of ‘hteti’ to the infinitive stem:

FORMULA 2: INFINITIVE STEM + PRESENT TENSE OF HTETI ‘WANT’

Note that this formula is somewhat a reverse of Formula 1, except that we have an infinitive stem, not the whole infinitive verb. What is the infinitive stem? Infinitive stem = infinitive verb (what is listed in the dictionary) minus infinitive ending: iti/eti/ati. Please refer to the present tense file for more details.

Formula 2 is used only if there is no expressed subject, i.e., the subject of the sentence is omitted. And that happens any time when the subject is a pronoun and it is not emphasized.

Table 3: Examples of future tense using Formula 2

‘will stay’

‘will work’

Ostaću (I’ll stay)

Radiću (I’ll work)

Ostaćeš (you’ll stay)

Radićeš (you’ll work)

Ostaće (she/he’ll stay) Radiće (she/he’ll work)

Ostaćemo (we’ll stay)

Radićemo (we’ll work)

Ostaćete (you’ll stay)

Radićete (you’ll work)

Ostaće (they’ll stay)

Radiće (they’ll work)

‘will go’ Ići ću (I’ll go) Ići ćeš (you’ll go) Ići ćete (s/he’ll go) Ići ćemo (we’ll go) Ići ćete (you’ll go) Ići će (they’ll go)

Larisa Zlatic

Larisa Zlatic Language Services http://www.studyserbian.com

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FORMULA 3: PRESENT TENSE OF HTETI ‘WANT’ + DA + PRESENT TENSE OF THE MAIN VERB

Formula 3 is the most common way of expressing the future tense, since you already need to know how to make the present tense. If this is still hard for you, you may use Formula 1 or 2.

Table 4: Examples of future tense using Formula 3

The example below means ‘I/you/he/… will go’

Person

‘hteti’

da+present tense of ‘ići’ (go)

Ja (I)

ću

da idem (to go)

Ti (you)

ćeš

da ideš (to go)

On/ona/ono (he/she/it

će

da ide (to go)

Mi (we)

ćemo

da idemo (to go)

Vi (you)

ćete

da idete (to go)

Oni/one/ona (they)

će

da idu (to go)

Table 5 below tells you how to say ‘I/you/he/… will be’ using Formula 3.

Table 5: How to say 'will be' using Formula 3

Person

hteti

Da+present tense of biti

Ja (I)

ću

da budem

Ti (you)

ćeš

da budeš

On/ona/ono (he/she/it

će

da bude

Mi (we)

ćemo

da budemo

Vi (you)

ćete

da budete

Oni/one/ona (they)

će

da budu

Note that the present tense stem of ‘be’ is ‘bud-‘. This is that extra ‘be’ we discussed in the

section about the present tense of irregular verbs.

Larisa Zlatic

Larisa Zlatic Language Services http://www.studyserbian.com

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The Serbian Future Tense (budu Će Vreme)