In Unit 7 we learnt the conjugation of verbs in the Present Tense. Now we will learn the conjugation of verbs in the Future Tense. We will follow the same pattern as in the present tense and study the conjugation for :

  • a-ending verbal bases
  • ā-ending verbal bases
  • o-ending verbal bases
  • e-ending verbal bases
  • roots √, √bhū and √as

Please note the terminations added to the verbal bases in the Future Tense :

Terminations of Verbs in Future Tense

Singular Plural
Third Person ____(i)ssati ____(i)ssanti
Second Person ____(i)ssasi ____(i)ssatha
First Person ___(i)ssāmi ____(i)ssāma

The part of termination in red – (i)ssa – is specific to the Future Tense. The (i) may or may not be added to the verbal base, hence it is put in the brackets.

Please note that the strengthening of a into ā before mi and ma in the First Person is a part of terminations for the Future Tense.


One important point to note about all the three tenses – present, future and past – is that the same conjugated form indicates simple and continuous tense.

So vihāraṃ gacchati can be translated as :
He goes to the monastery, (simple) or
He is going to the monastery. (continuous)

Kassakā khettāni kasanti can be translated as :
The farmers plough the fields, (simple) or
The farmers are ploughing the fields. (continuous)

The correct / probable translation depends on the context in which the verb is used. The suttas usually narrate some story or incident, which makes it easy for us to arrive at more probable / suitable translation of any verb form.

The same principle of simple and continuous tense applies to future and past tense as well. We will learn such examples when we translate Pali sentences using verbs in future and past tense.

Now let us study conjugation of different types of verbal bases in the Future Tense.

Last modified: Friday, 19 May 2023, 12:00 PM