Freeform Writing Exercise A1
The present tense can be used to express near future, see here:-
Expressing immediate and near-future actions with the present tense (Le Présent) in French
Actually, the sentence Il va explorer le jardin is present tense and not le futur proche, even though they look identical in this case:
He goes to explore the garden. -- Il va explorer le jardin. In this case, the main verb aller is followed by the infinitive, just like in English.He is going to explore the garden. -- Il va explorer le jardin. The second case is a classic futur proche construction, in which aller is the auxiliary verb used to construct this tense.
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