Aller (To Go) Meaning, Usage, Example Sentences

The verb aller (to go) is one of the most widely used verbs in French. In addition to being used with sentences involving going places it’s also used in greetings as well as specific kinds of past tenses. On this page we’ll look at the meanings and usages of this verb with several example sentences.

First usage – to go

Sample sentences involving aller in “going” palces:

  • Où est-ce que vous allez? Where are you going?
  • Vas-tu en France? Are you going to France?
  • Elle va au magasin. She’s going the the story. 
  • Ils vont à la plage. They’re going to the beach. 

Second usage – how are you?

Aller is also used to ask somebody how they’re doing. An English equivalent is the Australian, How are you going?

  • Salut mon ami! Ça va? Hello my friend! How are you?
  • Bonjour madame. Comment allez-vous? Hello, ma’am. How are you?
  • Comment va-t-elle? How is she doing?
  • Je vais  très bien, merci. I’m doing very well, thank you.

Near future usage

Aller is also used in the futur proche or near future tense.  This done by saying aller + infinitive and means “going to”.

  • Je vais travailler demain. I’m doing to work tomorrow.
  • Elles vont partir en vacances. They’re going to go on vacation. 
  • Nous allons regarder la television. We’re going to watch TV.
  • Il va se coucher avant minuit. He’s going to go to bed before midnight. 
  • Je vais maîtriser ces verbes! I’m going to master these verbs!

Reflexive – to leave

When aller becomes reflexive, s’en aller means to be off or to leave.

  • Salut tout le monde! Je m’en vais! Bye everybody! I’m off!
  • Je pense qu’ils s’en va vers 15h00. I think he’s leaving around 3pm.
  • Pourquoi est-ce que tu t’en vas? Why are you leaving?

In the passé composé, aller is used as the auxiliary verb with both verbs of movement and reflexive verbs.  Examples:

  • Je suis allé au supermarché. I went to the supermarket. 
  • Elle s’est souvenue de l’histoire. She remembered the story.

A final common usage is combining aller with the particle word for there, y.

  • J’y vais. I’m doing (there). 
  • Vas-y/Allez-y. Go ahead. 
  • Vas-y!Allez-y! Go! Go! Go!
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