Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 42): le verbe, aller (l’usage, les expressions et le futur proche)


Aller is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjunction and literally means “to go.” It is also used in some idiomatic expresions and to conjugate the near future.

Aller means “to go” in most senses that verb is used in English.

Je vais à la banque. I’m going to the bank.
Il va avec vous. He’s going with you.
Nous allons au cinéma. We’re going to the movies.
Oú vas-tu? Where are you going?
Ça va bien. It’s going well.

Aller is used in several idiomatic expressions:

Je vais à pied. I am going on foot.
Ça va sans dire. That goes without saying.
On y va? Shall we go?
Allez-y! Go ahead!
Allons donc! Come on then!
Allons-y! Let’s go!
Ça va? Comment allez-vous? Comment vas-tu? How are you?

Aller + infinitive (le futur proche)
to be going to (do something)

aller à la pêche
to go fishing

aller à la rencontre de quelqu’un , aller au-devant de quelqu’un
to go meet someone

aller à pied
to go on foot

aller à quelqu’un
to be becoming, to suit

aller au fond des choses
to get to the bottom of things

aller avec quelque chose
to match something

aller chercher
to get, to fetch

aller de pair avec
to go hand in hand with

aller en voiture
to ride in a car

aller sans dire
to go without saying

ça va sans dire
that goes without saying

s’en aller
to go away

Aller is commonly used to express the near future (le futur proche) – the idea that someone is going to do something soon, an upcoming event is about going to occur in the near future. This construction is formed by conjugating aller and adding the infinitive of the action that is about to occur.

Je vais étudier. I am going to study.
Il va arriver. He’s going to arrive.
Vas-tu nous aider? Are you going to help us?
Nous allons partir dans cinq minutes. We are going to leave in five minutes.

Here is how aller is conjugated in present tense:

je vais nous allons
tu vas vous allez
il, elle, on va ils, elles vont
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