Does Italian use the Simple Future tense for future events on which some other event depends on? Examples:

  • Parlerà quando potrà. (Verb in question: potere)
  • Parlerà appena finirà di mangiare. (Verb in question: finire)

My question arises from the fact that Portuguese, Spanish and French use distinct verb tenses for such a situation.

  • 3
    Can you give an example in French (and maybe Portuguese and Spanish, but French is easier for me)? The tense systems of French and Italian are pretty much identical, and I am not exactly sure what you're referring to (maybe the futuro anteriore?)
    – Denis Nardin
    Sep 20, 2019 at 10:12
  • @DenisNardin: Spanish uses subjunctive in these situations: "Hablará cuando pueda" and "Hablará cuando haya acabado de comer".
    – Charo
    Sep 20, 2019 at 14:55
  • @DenisNardin: Spanish uses subjunctive present in both sentences, as already mentioned. Portuguese uses subjunctive future in both sentences: "Ele falará quando puder" and "Ele falará quando tiver acabado". French uses "futur simple" and "futur anterieur": "Il parlera quand il pourra" and "Il parlera dès qu'il aura fini de manger". I was not sure if Italian was equal to one of those Romance languages in this matter, but your comment made it clear. Sep 20, 2019 at 16:50
  • @AlanEvangelista Yes, Italian works pretty much like French (up to a few Gallicismes).
    – Denis Nardin
    Sep 20, 2019 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


Parlerà quando potrà.

The action potere is simultaneous to the action parlare, so we use the futuro semplice for both verbs.

Parlerà appena avrà finito di mangiare.

The action finire (di mangiare) precedes the action parlare, so we use the futuro anteriore for the verb describing the earlier action.

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