I have recently noticed a sentence that looked weird in my eyes:

das wird alles seinen Grund haben

As a German learner, for me, it makes sense only when this sentence is written as alles hat seinen Grund. Can you please explain why this grammar has been used in this case? Is this common? And I would appreciate if you provide me with more examples similar to this case.


3 Answers 3


The Futur I and Futur II tenses are not about the future but about assumptions. Consider:

Wo ist Jochen? — Er wird den Wagen waschen. (Präsens — Futur I)

Wo ist Jochen gewesen? — Er wird den Wagen gewaschen haben. (Perfekt — Futur II)

This isn't about the future. It's an assumption about what Jochen does right in this moment, respective what he did in the past. The speaker doesn't know it for sure but assumes it to be true. That's why she responds in Futur I / Futur II tense.

If she wanted to tell it as a fact, she would have responded in Präsens / Perfekt tense instead:

Wo ist Jochen? — Er wäscht den Wagen. (Präsens — Präsens)

Wo ist Jochen gewesen? — Er hat den Wagen gewaschen. (Perfekt — Perfekt)

And it's the same in your example:

Es wird seinen Grund haben.

This is Futur I tense because it's just an assumption. (Don't let the haben confuse you: it's a full verb in your example, not an auxiliary.)

Es hat seinen Grund.

This on the other hand is told as a fact.

Actually, all the German tenses are organized like that. Simple tenses for the non-past, perfect tenses for the past. There are seven pairs like that which differ in the intent of speech:

  • Präsens / Perfekt — facts
  • Präteritum / Plusquamperfekt — narration
  • Futur I / Futur II — assumptions
  • Konjunktiv I / Konjunktiv I Perfekt — hearsay
  • Konjunktiv II / Konjunktiv II Perfekt — non-facts
  • Konjunktiv I Futur I / Konjunktiv I Futur II — hearsay assumptions
  • Konjunktiv II Futur I / Konjunktiv II Futur II — non-facts

That Konjunktiv I Futur I/II pair is seldom used. The Konjunktiv II Futur I/II pair on the other hand is the würden-replacement form of the Konjunktiv II / Konjunktiv II Perfekt. Konjunktiv II Futur I is used all the time as for most verbs you can't tell apart the Konjunktiv II form from the Präteritum form.

On top of that simple scheme, Northern speakers use Präteritum in place of Perfekt for the auxiliaries, the modals, and some very common verbs are e.g. geben. The more Northern the speaker is, the more verbs belong to this group.

  • 1
    "The Futur I and Futur II tenses are not about the future but about assumptions." That is a too general statement to make. One could argue, that the future is not known in the present, so it would always be true from that point of view, but generally people do not think of it like that and Futur 1 and Futur 2 very well may be used to express something about the future. Commented Jun 3 at 7:55
  • You can also use Präsens to talk about the future. So this isn't the point about the Futur I/II tenses.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 3 at 8:19

Das wird alles seinen Grund haben.

This is a rather common use of the future tense and denotes an assumption: the speaker believes that there is a reason, but at the same time states that he isn't sure about that.

There is perhaps a reason for all that.

Would he be sure he'd use the Präsens:

Das hat alles seinen Grund.

In the same way a common (colloquial) way to express compassion to someone who just told of an ailment or desaster happening to him:

Das wird schon werden.

Meaning I believe/hope it will get better. The word-by-word translation would be "it will become", "better" is implied.

  • Thanks for the answer. I actually didn't expect that since I thought it would add a bit of certainty to the sentence (the reverse effect than what you mentioned). Can you please let me know if you can think of any other similar situation when using werden adds uncertainty and assumption to a verb other than 'haben'?
    – Yazdan
    Commented May 31 at 8:58
  • @Yazdan: I have updated the answer.
    – bakunin
    Commented May 31 at 10:12
  • 4
    Other examples: "das wird schon richtig sein", "er wird schon auf uns warten". Notice how "schon" is used to make clear that it's not a statement about the future, even though it's future tense.
    – Uwe
    Commented May 31 at 14:23
  • 2
    @Yazdan Note that this is quite a common pattern in Western Europe. The same use of the future is also found in languages like English (“There will be a reason for all this”), Spanish (“Habrá una razón para todo esto”) or French (“Il y aura des raisons pour tout ça”), with all the examples meaning ‘there is most likely a reason for all this’ or ‘there must be a reason for all this’. Commented Jun 1 at 11:10
  • 3
    I am not sure "Das wird schon werden." is another example along the same lines. "Das wird schon werden." is indeed about a future event, so it is a spot-on use of future tense in its original sense, unlike the use of an assumption (where the future aspect is maybe only meant to denote the speaker will learn about the fact only in the future). Commented Jun 2 at 10:11

The phrase:

Das wird alles seinen Grund haben.

You can understand that phrase as follows:

[If you checked,] you will find, that there are reasons for all of that. [But lets move on and talk about xyz.]


We/You will see the reasons for all of it later. [But lets move on and talk about xyz.]

Like others have already written, this expresses an assumption. But then again, what statement about the future is not -- at least in theory -- just an assumption? Still there is a point in that: The speaker seems less sure about it than if they had said:

Das hat alles seinen Grund.

(example by bakunin)

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