Using Le Présent for immediate/near future actions

Look at these sentences:

Je prends mon train dans une heure.
I'm taking my train in an hour.

Je suis là dans deux secondes!
I'm there in two seconds!

J'arrive! 
I'm coming! I'll be right there!

As well as current and habitual actions, and timeless facts, Présent indicatif can be used to express an action in the immediate future.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'arrive! 
I'm coming! I'll be right there!


Demain, il arrive à dix heures.
Tomorrow, he's arriving at ten o'clock.


Je viens demain
I'm coming tomorrow


Je suis là dans deux secondes!
I'm there in two seconds!


Allons-y! 
Let's go!


Je prends mon train dans une heure.
I'm taking my train in an hour.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 10 answers

JoanneB2Kwiziq community member

Je vais au restaurant (near future?)

The question was what does the following mean: "Je vais au restaurant plus tard" and one of the answers I picked was, I will come to the restaurant later." It was marked wrong. But I just took a lesson on using the present tense to describe the near future. I'm confused.

Asked 2 months ago
AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Joanne, I made the same "mistake", and found that they wanted the present continuous "I'm going to the restaurant later". For these "near future" cases, I'd say translate the French present into the English present or present continuous where possible, as English has the same phenomenon of using the present to talk about the future.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I totally understand your confusion, Joanne. There are three ways of expressing something in the future in French. Ranked acoording to increasing "future-ness" they are:

Present tense: Je vais au restaurant un peu plus tard. -- I'll be going to the restaurant a bit later.

Furue proche: Je vais aller au restaurant bientôt. -- I'll be going to the restaurant soon.

Future simple: J'irais au restaurant demain. -- I will go to the restaurant tomorrow.

As you can see, the English translation isn't always a 1:1 match with the French.

In your example, Je vais au restaurant plus tard, the present tense is used, indicating something that is not far in the future at all. Therefore they were probably looking for an English sentence which doesn't use the standard future tense.

AnneB2Kwiziq community member

Perhaps it was marked incorrect because you translated "vais" as "come" rather than "go."

Je vais au restaurant (near future?)

The question was what does the following mean: "Je vais au restaurant plus tard" and one of the answers I picked was, I will come to the restaurant later." It was marked wrong. But I just took a lesson on using the present tense to describe the near future. I'm confused.

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JonathanC1Kwiziq community member

Le futur proche vs le présent

Ron gave some good guidance on j’arrive, but is there general guidance on when to use le présent and when to use le futur proche? For example, it seems to me that « Je vais partir d’ici deux heures » would be just fine, but based on the lesson maybe that’s not the case?
Asked 10 months ago
MichelleC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

While Ron did give good guidance, it's really not done this meticulously in practice though it sounds good in theory.  In practice, there seems to be overlap between the two and there is no official rule specifying a time frame when you have to switch from one to another. Every French speaker seems to decide for themselves. If the action is not pretty much immediate (like screaming "I'm coming!" as you run towards the ringing doorbell) but within 24 hours, both the future proche and the present seem acceptable.

Of course there is a subtle difference. 

Demain, il arrive à dix heures.---Tomorrow's he's arriving at ten o'clock.

Demain, il va arriver à dix heures.--Tomorrow, he is going to arrive at ten o'clock.

Jonathan asked:View original

Le futur proche vs le présent

Ron gave some good guidance on j’arrive, but is there general guidance on when to use le présent and when to use le futur proche? For example, it seems to me that « Je vais partir d’ici deux heures » would be just fine, but based on the lesson maybe that’s not the case?

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DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Demain

I was marked wrong in a quiz for "Tu achètes une nouvelle voiture demain". It wanted "Tu vas acheter une nouvelle voiture demain". How does this differ from the example in this lesson "Je viens demain".


Asked 1 year ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I think your answer would also be valid, but the English version you're asked to translate is: "You are going to buy a new car tomorrow" which hints that you should use the futur proche. If it had been "You're buying a new car tomorrow" then your answer would be correct.

Demain

I was marked wrong in a quiz for "Tu achètes une nouvelle voiture demain". It wanted "Tu vas acheter une nouvelle voiture demain". How does this differ from the example in this lesson "Je viens demain".


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DanielB1Kwiziq community member

Curieux?

Quel est le difference entre Nous sommes partir dans dix minutes et Nous partons dans dix minutes? Partir étant un verbe de mouvement conjugué à être?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Daniel, If I am correctly understanding your question, nous sommes partir is not a phrase in French. nous sommes partis is however. To that end, partir est une verbe de mouvement qui est conjugué avec être. However, the lesson that you have referenced is addressing the use of the present tense to explain an immediate, near future action and does not relate to verbs possibly in the passé composé with or sans être. For example, if I see you in the hallway by a classroom, I might say «j'arrive» meaning I will be coming to the class very shortly. Again «arriver» est une verbe de mouvement qui utilise être tel l'auxiliare. J'espère que cela vous aidera. Bonne chance !
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Daniel,

You cannot use the past tense ( sommes partis) about something you are going to do in the future( 10 minutes time)....

Daniel asked:View original

Curieux?

Quel est le difference entre Nous sommes partir dans dix minutes et Nous partons dans dix minutes? Partir étant un verbe de mouvement conjugué à être?

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BrianC1Kwiziq community member

How near is near future? In the words of a song, demain matin je partirai.

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonsoir Brian, C'est drôle ! I had a very similar question in one of my French classes a few years back and the prof explained it thusly, to use J'arrive as a future statement she considered that to be sometime within the next 24 hours. She further explained the near future statement using aller, i.e. Je vais venir, to be a time frame of 3 to 5 days out. Anything longer than 5 days out she considered as needing the future tense. I am unsure where she had come up with this "time frames", but on a certain level, it kinda makes sense. J'espère que cela vous aiderez. Bonne chance, Ron

How near is near future? In the words of a song, demain matin je partirai.

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CameronC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Present or past?

This lesson is titled Using Le Passé Composé for immediate/near future actions but it is really on using the present tense to speak of near future actions, not Le Passé Composé. Or am I missing something?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Cameron ! That's a mistake on our part: it was indeed Le Présent ! Thanks to you this title has now been fixed ! Merci beaucoup!

Present or past?

This lesson is titled Using Le Passé Composé for immediate/near future actions but it is really on using the present tense to speak of near future actions, not Le Passé Composé. Or am I missing something?

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ChrisB2Kwiziq community member

Query right answers

Isn't "J’arriverai dans cinq minutes" also a correct answer here?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Chris, Yes, but this lesson is specifically about using the present tense for future actions, which occurs in both French and English.

Query right answers

Isn't "J’arriverai dans cinq minutes" also a correct answer here?

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