French The Verb "to go"


The French verb aller means to go and is one of the most common verbs in the French language. The conjugation of aller in the present tense is: Je vais (I go), Tu vas (You go, familiar), Il, elle va (He, she goes), Nous allons (We go), Vous allez (You go, plural and formal), Ils, elles vont (They go). The verb aller is irregular in the present tense. Listen carefully to the pronunciation of the -s in the plural forms nous andvous forms. This -s is pronounced as a /z/ to link with the vowel sound in the plural forms allons and allez.

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Aller, meaning “to go” is one of the most common verbs in French. It’s an irregular verb, meaning its conjugation is unique and doesn’t follow any specific grouping pattern. Aller is also used to describe the near future tense (You are going to do something).

Below is the conjugation chart for aller with example sentences:

Subject PronounAllerMeaningExampleTranslation
JevaisI am goingJe vais à la campagne.I’m going to the countryside.
TuvasYou are goingTu vas à la plage.You are going to the beach.
Il/Elle/OnvaHe/She/One is goingElle va avec ses amis.She is going with her friends.
NousallonsWe are goingNous allons à l’université en août.We are going to college in August.
VousallezYou are allezVous allez à l’usine pour la journée.You are going to the factory for the day.
Ils/EllesvontThey are goingIls vont en vacances à Nice pour une semaine.They are going on vacation to Nice for a week.

Notes :

  • In the negative form, ne and pas must sandwich the conjugated verb in the sentence.

            On ne va pas dans les rues après minuit.

            One doesn’t go in the streets past midnight.

  • As we learn new verbs and begin to create more complex sentences, don’t forget the difference between Tu and Vous. Remember that Tu refers to one person in the informal speaking register; this means that the one person you are talking to is a friend, family member, or someone you speak regularly with. Vous is used in the formal register and is the go-to pronoun for a stranger, a work colleague, or an elder. It can also be plural when speaking to a group of people.
  • When practicing your pronunciation, create a liaison between Nous and allons, as well as between Vous and allez. This liaison will take a /z/ sound.

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