Can the verb "andare" conjugated in the present tense be used to refer to the future?

Example: Vado a prendere la macchina. (= I go get the car / I'm going to get the car) (present action). Could it also refer to plan of getting the car in the future, i.e. the speaker is not doing the action right now ?

  • 1
    Related question: italian.stackexchange.com/q/11563. The expressions discussed in this question and their answers refer to the imminent future.
    – Charo
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 17:28
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    This is not a peculiarity of the verb andare. It is quite frequent, in an informal register, to use the present tense to refer to future actions. For instance, “Fa' [una certa cosa]” “Non mi va, lo faccio domani” and so on, for almost any verb (“lo cerco/lavo/chiamo... domani”).
    – DaG
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 17:39
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    Dal libro Grammatica e pratica della lingua italiana per studenti stranieri di Federica Colombo: "È possibile usare il presente anche per parlare di azioni che si svolgono nel futuro. Domani iniziano i corsi di danza. La prossima settimana telefono a Carlo. Luigi parte domani mattina".
    – Charo
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 19:15
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    When speaking of a planned action, the present tense can be used in phrases like lunedì parto per le vacanze, or domani vado da mio cugino.
    – apaderno
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 22:51
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    @Charo Don't be fooled by the wannabe chef jargon. There is a big difference: “vado a prendere la macchina” implies a real movement to where the car is; the action will take place immediately or in a very short time; “vado a impiattare” has no real motion implied: the wannabe chef remains in exactly the same place.
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


Yes, the present can be used instead of the future, but a time specification must be present:

Vado a prendere la macchina nuova
Domani vado a prendere la macchina nuova

In the first case, without time specifications, the speaker is going to get the new car now. It can also be

Sto per andare a prendere la macchina nuova

if the action will take place in a short time. All action verbs can be used in the same way:

Telefono a Maria (now)
Domani telefono a Maria (tomorrow)
Il mese prossimo telefono a Maria (next month)

The future need not be immediate, as the last example shows; even

L'anno prossimo vado in vacanza a Forlimpopoli

would be good. Similarly,

Corro a prenderlo (now)
Fra un anno corro a prenderlo (irony implied)

The verb “andare”, though, has come under the sad fate of being used for “immediate action”, particularly in the fashionable jargon of TV programs on cooking:

vado a infornare, vado a impiattare, vado a versare

where the speaker moves not farther than a few centimeters. Avoid it, if you're not a wannabe chef.

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