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S’en Aller – To Leave, To Go, To be Off In French

S’en Aller – To Leave, To Go, To be Off In French

Today we’ll have a look at the reflexive verb s’en aller. This is a bit different from aller, which means “to go”. S’en aller specifically means to leave a place or group of people. Other close English equivalents are”to be off” or even “to be outta here”.

s’en aller

to leave, go, be off

S'en aller = to leave, go, be off


As mentioned, s’en aller is a reflexive verb. The en is an indirect object pronoun and indicates “from a place”. Hence je m’en vais suggests “I go from + place”.

Je m’en vais I leave (go, am off)
Tu t’en vas You leave (singular, informal)
Il, elle s’en va He, she leaves
Nous nous en allons We leave
Vous vous en allez You leave (plural, formal)
Ils, elles s’en vont They leave

Example sentences

For this first sentence, salut in French is informal for both hi and bye and tout le monde means “everybody”. As I described, je m’en vais could equally translate to “I’m off” or “I’m outta here”.

Salut tout le monde ! Je m’en vais !

Bye everybody! I’m leaving!

For this second example sentence, the underlying meaning of s’en aller really is “to leave”.

Tu t’en vas avant la fin du film ?

You’re leaving before the end of the movie?

For this example, s’en aller could easily be synonymous with partir (to leave

Vous vous en allez aujourd’hui ? – Non, on s’en va demain.

You’re leaving today? Non, we’re leaving tomorrow.

For this last sentence, the expressions “va t’en” and “allez vous-en” both mean “go away!”, “get out of here!”, “scram!” and “get lost!”. These are very strong words in French – faites attention (watch out)!

Prends ta valise et va t’en !

Take your suitcase and go!


Et voilà ! Now you now how to use s’en aller! Now check out this lesson explaining ten common ways to use the pronoun en. In this other lesson, Camille from French Today compares various ways of saying “to leave” in French.

S'en aller is a French reflexive verb that means to leave.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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