As part of my new shorter & simpler HOW TO videos, I’ve decided to fully & clearly conjugate for you all the absolutely crucial French verbs, in the present tense, in 2 steps:
Step 1: just the verb, the whole verb conjugated with each subject pronoun.
Step 2: that same conjugated verb but this time in a sentence to give you context.
So far we’ve conjugated avoir, to have, and être, to be (fell free to go back to these latest videos if you need a little review) and this week we are going to conjugate another almost just as important verb: ALLER = TO GO.
Why is ALLER essential?
Not only is it a crucial verb that we constantly use but it’s also the base of a future tense called futur proche, which you could not conjugate at all without knowing the verb aller in the present tense.
By the way, the futur proche is a super easy tense. It is a compound tense, which means there are 2 elements in it:
Element 1: the verb aller in the present tense, which you’re about to learn, or review depending on your level,
Element 2: the infinitive!
Just like in English, I’m going to eat, I’m going is the verb to go in the present tense, to which you add the infinitive to eat. I’m going – to eat, je vais – manger. This means, as long as you can conjugate aller in the present tense and have a few infinitives in mind, you know a whole future tense! Super!
Let’s conjugate aller in the present tense with every single subject pronoun, and then, I’ll put it in a short sentence to give you context and more vocab at the same time. C’est parti!
Let’s conjugate ALLER
To go = Aller
That’s called the infinitive, l’infinitif, which means it is not conjugated. Now let’s conjugate it, in the present tense.
I go = Je vais
I go to yoga once a week = Je vais au yoga une fois par semaine
You go = Tu vas (casual)
You go there often? = Tu y vas souvent?
She goes = Elle va
She’s going to university to study chemistry = Elle va à l’université pour étudier la chimie
He goes = Il va
I don’t know where he’s going = Je ne sais pas où il va
We go = on va
We are not going on vacation this year = On ne va pas en vacances cette année*
On is the singular subject pronoun for we. Is it strange to think of we as singular? Think of a unit, think of a country. A country is made up of several people so it’s plural yet you say “my country IS” so it’s also singular. On is more used in spoken French, it’s the more casual way to say we.
We go = nous allons
We are not going on vacation this year = Nous n’allons pas en vacances cette année*
Nous is the plural subject pronoun for we. It’s less used in spoken French than on, which we just saw, and it’s the more formal, the more proper way to say we.
*Just to be sure you understand, the above 2 sentences mean the exact same thing and that is “We are not going on vacation this year” The only difference is that “on” is more casual and “nous” is more “formal”
Same sentence as the one above, same meaning, only this time, we, sounds more formal.
On ne va pas en vacances cette année = Nous n’allons pas en vacances cette année
You go = vous allez (formal or you all)
Where are you going? = Où allez-vous?
They go = Elles vont (for an exclusively feminine group)
They always go to the cinema together = Elles vont toujours au cinéma ensemble
They go = Ils vont (for a masculine or a mixed group)
They go to France every summer = Ils vont en France chaque été
One more time!
ALLER = TO GO
je vais = I go
tu vas = you go (casual)
elle va = she goes
il va = he goes
on va = we go (singular + casual)
nous allons = we go (plural + formal)
vous allez = you go (formal or you all)
elles vont = they go (feminine)
ils vont = they go (masculine or mixed)
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