I've read that one should use "ir a" when time of completion is certain. If the time is uncertain, one should use the future tense. This choice is not so clear-cut when asking a question. Take for example, asking "When are you coming?". You're expecting an exact time from the other party. But the other party may not know the exact time or whether he can come at all.

¿Cuándo vas a venir?


¿Cuándo vendrás?

So which one do you use when one side wants a precise time while the other side cannot be guaranteed to provide an exact time?

1 Answer 1


First of all it's spelled "Cuándo" and in reference to your question at least here, in Spain, both sentences mean exactly the same, we use both indifferently.

  • In my experience speaking spanish with people from Mexico, El Salvado, Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia, it is also the same, voy a <verbo> and verbo en tenso futuro are the same, and can be used interchangeably.
    – Eric
    Jul 18, 2013 at 16:53
  • 1
    I'm mexican and I also use them indifferently, I would even use: ¿Cuándo vienes?
    – Newbie
    Jul 18, 2013 at 17:43
  • Sorry about the mispelling. I got it mixed up with Latin. I did a quick search on "ir a versus future tense" on Google and all the articles/discussions say "ir a" is definitive, while future tense is uncertain. Here is just one of the many discussions.
    – JoJo
    Jul 19, 2013 at 3:55
  • @Newbie I thought that the present tense signifies a habit. Wouldn't ¿Cuándo vienes? mean "When do you (usually) come?"
    – JoJo
    Jul 20, 2013 at 15:47
  • It usually does but it can mean a future o sporadic action depending of the context´-"Voy a ir a México" -"enserio?, ¿Cúando vienes?. '-"I'm going to Mexico" -"Really?, When are you comming?"´
    – Newbie
    Jul 22, 2013 at 16:19

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