Future Tense

There are two ways to express action in the future in Ukrainian, through the future perfect tense, and the future imperfect tense.

The future perfect tense is used to express actions in such a way to emphasize that they will be completed (I will paint a painting, I will watch this movie).

The future imperfect tense is used to express that actions will be performed continuously (I will be reading a book, I will be visiting family).

Background

To understand how to form the future perfect tense, we have to describe how verbs work in Ukrainian. Verbs in Ukrainian can have two aspects: perfective and imperfective, distinguished by a prefix that varies from verb to verb. When a verb with the imperfective aspect is conjugated, the verb is in the present tense. When a verb with the perfective aspect is conjugated, the verb is in the future perfect tense.

verb imperfective perfective
to read читати прочитати
Я читаю цю книгу. Я прочитаю цю книгу.
I read this book. / I am reading this book. I will read this book.

Forming the future perfect tense

To form the future perfect tense:

(1) Take the imperfective form of the verb. (This is considered the base form) читати

(2) Add a prefix to change it to the perfective aspect. про + читати = прочитати

(3) Conjugate in the present tense based on the subject. Я прочитаю.

The prefix that must be added to a verb to form the perfective form of the verb varies from verb to verb and must be memorized.

Examples:

verb imperfective perfective
to eat читати прочитати
to do робити зробити
to have lunch обідати пообідати

Forming the future imperfect tense

To form the future imperfect tense, use the following construction:

[conjugated бути] + [imperfective verb]

читати

Я бу́ду читати I will be reading
ти бу́деш читати you (informal) will be reading
він / вона бу́де читати he / she will be reading
ми бу́демо читати we will be reading
ви бу́дете читати you (formal) will be reading
вони бу́дуть читати they will be reading