It seems to me that the difference between the imperfective and perfective future tense of verbs is that the imperfective refers to a general or uncompleted action; while the perfective refers to a completed action. Though I have also read that the perfective refers to the result of the action. But as far as I can tell it always refers to an action that will be completed, or is intended to be completed.


Я буду есть сыр. - I will be eating cheese (no reference to completing this action)

Я съем сыр. - I will eat cheese (suggesting the act of eating will be completed)

Я буду мочь ходить. - I will be able to walk. (a general statement, e.g. you are injured and can't walk; someone asks you if you will be able to walk and you answer as so, stating - yes, you will be able to walk again)

Я смогу ходить. - I will be able to walk. (suggesting a walk can be completed, e.g. you are very tired, resting on a walk and asked if you can complete it, you answer so, stating that - yes, you will be able to complete the walk)

Я буду смотреть документальный фильм. - I will be watching a documentary (general, no reference to if you intend to watch all of it)

Я посмотрю документальный фильм. - I will watch a documentary (to the end).

Я буду играть в футбол за Армению. - I will be playing football for Armenia. (in the future I will play football matches for the Armenian national team)

Я сыграю футбольный матч за сборную Армении. - I will play in a football match for Armenia. (I will play one game, to completion, for the Armenian football team)

Are my assumptions correct?

  • 1
    "suggesting a walk can be completed" - No. This suggests only imperfective action - "will be able to do some walking". To suggest that the walk can be completed, one would say "Я смогу пройти" or "Я смогу дойти".
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 17:02
  • Upon more thinking, "Я смогу ходить" can refer to repetitive action. In this case, proper translation will be "I will be able to go (to)".
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


Yes, more or less so, except for the two examples involving 'ходить'. Although 'Я буду мочь ходить' may seem grammatically correct, no one says «буду мочь». These words just don't go together (despite Wiktionary quoting «буду/будешь… мо́чь»). Instead, use 'смогу': Я (снова) смогу ходить. 'I will be able to walk (again).'

If you want to say 'Don't worry, I can finish this walk', you can say 'Не беспокойтесь, я дойду'.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.