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How to speak French

How to Use French Aller Conjugation

When you speak in your native language, how often do you stop to think about what you’re going to say before you say it? Chances are, not very often. Fluency allows us to seamlessly communicate without much effort. In English, changing between tenses is straightforward and adding pronouns provides clarification about who, what, where, and when. In French, things get a little more complicated. French verb conjugation is one of the most challenging parts of fluency for many learners. Although there are some straightforward rules, other verbs follow seemingly random structures. This is especially true when working with the French aller conjugation. However, the irregular verb aller, which means “to go,” is one of the three most commonly used verbs in French. To help you better understand how to perform aller conjugation, consider our comprehensive guide below.

How to Conjugate Aller in French

Although its meaning is simple, aller verb conjugation in French can vary depending on which tense, mood, or voice you’re using. Aller conjugation may involve changing the indefinite form of the verb or combining it with other applications of French verb conjugation. Although it might seem confusing at first, aller’s versatile use makes it an essential French verb to learn. To help provide you with a solid foundation, we’ve included some tables that dictate different tenses of conjugation, when to use them, and how they’re used in a sentence.

Aller Conjugation in the Present

Aller conjugation in the present is very irregular, but understanding it is almost as important to fluency as learning the French alphabet. Aller is commonly used with other verbs to create additional tenses and form complex sentences. French aller conjugation in the present tense is used to describe an action that is happening right now. You can see the different present tense forms of aller in the table below.

Present Aller Conjugation
I goje vais
you gotu vas
he/she/it goesil/ella/on va
we gonous allons
you go(plural)vous allez
they go (masculine/feminine)ils/elles vont

As you can see, the conjugation for aller changes the word completely. The best way to remember the changes is to memorize them and practice. It’s also important to note that French aller conjugation is usually followed by the preposition chez, en, or à/au. This is the equivalent of using “to” in English. Some examples of using present tense aller conjugation in a sentence include:

tu vas aller au cinéma — you are going to the movies nous allons à la boulangerie —we are going to the bakery

Conjugate French Aller in the Compound Past

Aller conjugation in the compound past is used to describe singular past events that have come and gone. This is relatable to the English “went.” However, in order to complete the compound past conjugation, you’ll need to pair it with the auxiliary verb être, or “to be.” You’ll use être conjugation and the past participle of aller, which is allé. You can see this outlined in the table below.

Compound Past Aller Conjugation
I wentje suis allé
you wenttu es allé
he/she/it wentil/ella/on est allé(e)
we wentnous sommes allés
you went(plural)vous êtes allés
they went(masculine/feminine)ls/elles sont allé(e) s

As you can see, some forms of allé have an added “e” on them. This is because the past participle form of allé needs to agree with the subject, just like French adjectives do. Whenever the subject is femining, an extra “e” is added. Whenever the subject is plural, an “s” is added to the end. Some examples include the following:

  • tu es allé au cinéma — you went to the movies
  • nous sommes allés à la boulangerie — we went to the bakery

Aller Verb Conjugation in French Imperfect

Conjugating aller in the imperfect tense is how you describe something that happened in the past, but was considered an ongoing event. In English, you can compare this form of aller conjugation to “was/were” or “used to.” The conjugation here is more consistent than other tenses, which is demonstrated in the table below.

Imperfect Aller Conjugation
I was/used toj’allais
you were/used totu allais
he/she/it was/used toil/ella/on allait
we were/used tonous allions
you were/used to (plural)vous alliez
they were/used to (masculine/feminine)ils/elles allaient

Some examples of using the imperfect tense of aller conjugation in a sentence include:

  • tu allais au cinéma — you were going to the movies
  • nous allions à la boulangerie —we were going to the bakery

Simple Future Aller Conjugation

Conjugating the simple future form of aller follows a more regular structure. You’ll need to use the verb stem “ir” and then simply add on conjugated endings. The simple future is used to talk about things that will happen in the future at some point. To help you gain a stronger understanding of how to conjugate aller in the past, present, and future during conversation, download Tandem today. You can also review the future tense in the table below.

Simple Future Aller Conjugation
I will goj’irai
you will gotu iras
he/she/it will goil/ella/on ira
we will gonous irons
you will go (plural)vous irez
they will go (masculine/feminine)ils/elles iront

Some examples of using aller conjugation in the simple future include:

  • tu iras au cinéma — you will go to the movies
  • nous irons à la boulangerie —we will go to the bakery

Near Future Conjugation of Aller

Another way to discuss upcoming events is with the near future conjugation of aller. This is used when you want to talk about something that will happen soon. To do this, you’ll actually need to use both the conjugated form of aller and the infinitive form of aller. This can be seen in the table below.

Near Future Aller Conjugation
I’m going to goje vais aller
you’re going to gotu vas aller
he/she/it is going to goil/ella/on va aller
we’re going to gonous allons aller
you’re going to go (plural)vous allez aller
they’re going to go (masculine/feminine)ils/elles vont aller

Some examples of using aller conjugation in the near future include:

  • tu vas aller au cinéma — you’re going to go to the movies
  • nous allons aller à la boulangerie —we’re going to go to the bakery

Conditional French Conjugation of Aller

When conjugating aller in French using conditional forms, you’re expressing that the subject of a sentence would go somewhere. This is not a definitive statement and is often used when saying you’d go somewhere if circumstances were different. Many times, the French conjugation of aller in the conditional tense includes the word “if” or si. You can see the conjugation and examples outlined below.

Conditional Aller Conjugation
I would goj’irais
you would gotu irais
he/she/it would goil/ella/on irait
we would gonous irions
you would go (plural)vous iriez
they would go (masculine/feminine)ils/elles iraient

Examples of using the conditional form of aller conjugation include:

  • tu irais au cinéma — you would go to the movies
  • nous irions à la boulangerie —we would go to the bakery

Aller Conjugation in the Present Subjunctive

Another common use of aller conjugation is when talking in the present subjunctive tense, which is used to express doubt, uncertainty, requests, or even different possibilities. This is often paired with the conjunction que, as demonstrated in the table below.

Present Subjunctive Aller Conjugation
…that I goque j’aille
…that you goque tu ailles
…that he/she/it goesque il/ella/on aille
…that we goque nous allions
…that you would go (plural)que vous alliez
…that they would go (masculine/feminine)que ils/elles aillent

Examples of using the present subjunctive form of aller conjugation include:

  • il faut que tu ailles au cinéma — you have to go to the movies (it’s necessary that you go to the movies)
  • je veux que nous allions à la boulangerie —I want us to go to the bakery

Other Ways to Apply Aller Verb Conjugation in French

You can combine aller conjugation with other expressions or phrases to create various sentences with different intentions. One of the most common uses of aller conjugation is to either make statements about the status of something or ask questions about the condition.

For example, Ella va bien means “she is doing well” and comment vas-tu? means “how are you?”

Aller is also one of the reflexive verbs in French. When using the reflexive form of aller, you are essentially saying, “go away.” You need to use the preposition “en” for this form. This can be done in a few different ways. Two examples include:

  •   <i>va-t’en</i> — go away!
  •   <i>je m’en vais</i> — I’m going away

Whether you’re trying to master the aller conjugation, venir conjugation, or faire conjugation in French, things can get confusing fast. Luckily, language starts to come naturally the more you practice. To help you fast-track your journey to fluency, download Tandem today. Tandem is a unique language learning platform that offers personalized experiences for people around the world. Unlike other language apps, Tandem allows you to match with a native speaker of your target audience and practice with real conversations. This approach also supports the development of long-lasting, diverse friendships across the globe!

All you need to do is sign up, match with a native speaker of your target language, and begin your conversation. To join our community and work on your fluency, sign up for Tandem today.

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