French Grammar: The Near Future – [ALLER] + Infinitive

French Grammar: The Near Future - [ALLER] + Infinitive

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French Grammar: The Near Future – [ALLER] + Infinitive
la grammaire française: le futur proche – [aller] + l’Infinitif

The Near Future (Le Futur Proche) is a way to talk about things that are going to happen.  It indicates the intention to act in the future, and implies that the action is fairly immediate.  The verb ALLER means “to go”.  We use ALLER to express that someone is going to do something or that someone is going somewhere.

The construction ALLER + Infinitive is used to express the Near Future.  In everyday conversation, this construction is used more frequently than the Future Tense.


The Near Future (Le Futur Proche) is NOT the future tense in the strictly grammatical sense.  French has a different way of expressing the Future Tense.  Rather, the Near Future is a way to talk about an action in the immediate future.  To talk about an immediate future action in English, we use “going to” + another verb; to do this in French, we use a conjugated form of the verb ALLER followed by the infinitive form of a second verb (ALLER + Infinitive).

In and of itself, the verb ALLER means “to go”.  We use it when we are “going somewhere” or “going to do” some action.  In its “going to do” sense, ALLER indicates the intention to act in the near future (le future proche).  So whether you’re going to a place, or going to do something in particular, you’ll use ALLER to get there!

There are two major components for talking about the Near Future using ALLER + Infinitive.

1.  A conjugated form of the verb ALLER (to go):

Je vais
I am going

Tu vas
You are going

Il / Elle / On va
He / She / It / One is going

Nous allons
We are going

Vous allez
You (formal or plural) are going

Ils / Elles vont
They are going

2.  And an infinitive verb:

Je vais lire.
Nous allons courir.
Ils vont apprendre.

When you use the verb ALLER with an infinitive verb, it’s only ALLER that must be conjugated; the second verb must stay in its infinitive form!  Don’t conjugate that second verb!  That’s because, when the second verb is infinitive (meaning “to…whatever verb”), it already means what we want it to mean – so no need to conjugate it!

For example:

aller + manger : to go + to eat

Elle va manger.
She is going to eat.

aller + étudier : to go + to study

Je vais étudier.
I am going to study.

aller + jouer : to go + to play

Nous allons jouer.
We are going to play.

aller + voyager : to go + to travel

Tu vas voyager.
You (informal) are going to travel.

When using the pronoun y’ (there) with the Near Future, ‘y’ is placed before the infinitive.

Hélène va aller à la piscine, et Pierre va y aller aussi.
Helen is going to go to the pool, and Peter is going to go there, also.

To form the negative, ne … pas surrounds the conjugated form of ALLER:

Je ne vais pas prendre le bus.
I am not going to take the bus.

Michelle et Suzanne vont aller au parc, mais nous n’allons pas y aller.
Michelle and Suzanne are going to go to the park, but we are not going to go there.

Il y a (there is / there are) becomes il va y avoir (there is / are going to be) in the Near Future.

Il va y avoir un match de football demain.
There is going to be a soccer game tomorrow.

Il ne va pas y avoir de match de basket.
There is not going to be a basketball game.


Qu’est-ce que vous allez faire?
What are you (formal) going to do?

Je vais faire la lessive.
I am going to do the laundry.

Qu’est-ce qu’ils vont faire?
What are they going to do?

Ils vont étudier pour l’examen.
They are going to study for the test.

Qu’est-ce que nous allons faire?
What are we going to do?

Nous allons danser pendant toute la nuit!
We are going to dance all night!



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