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J'allais + infinitive = I was going to (Le Futur Proche in the past)

Look at these examples of Le Futur Proche dans le Passé, or how to say 'was/were going to' :

J'allais fermer la porte quand tu m'as appelé.
I was going to close the door when you called me.

Tu allais manquer ton avion, c'est pour ça que tu t'es dépêché.
You were going to miss your plane, that's why you rushed.

Elle allait appeler la police !
She was going to call the police!

Allions-nous y arriver ? Personne ne le savait.
Were we going to make it? No one knew.

Vous alliez vous rejoindre plus tard.
You were going to meet later.

Oh là là ! Qu'est-ce qu'ils allaient s'ennuyer !
My oh my! They were going to get so bored!

 

Note that to express 'I was going to + verb', you use l'Imparfait of the verb aller in French, followed by the infinitive.


ATTENTION:
Using Le Passé Composé would mean 'I went to do'!
e.g. Je suis allé faire mes devoirs.  (I went to do my homework.)

 

 

See also the previous lesson Aller + infinitive = to be going to (Le Futur Proche) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Allions-nous y arriver ? Personne ne le savait.
Were we going to make it? No one knew.


Tu allais manquer ton avion, c'est pour ça que tu t'es dépêché.
You were going to miss your plane, that's why you rushed.


Elle allait appeler la police !
She was going to call the police!


Oh là là ! Qu'est-ce qu'ils allaient s'ennuyer !
My oh my! They were going to get so bored!


J'allais fermer la porte quand tu m'as appelé.
I was going to close the door when you called me.


Vous alliez vous rejoindre plus tard.
You were going to meet later.


Q&A

Barbara

Kwiziq community member

21 March 2018

2 replies

Une phrase avec "Si/if" ... l'imparfait/le conditionnel

Stephane ...(allait) rater son rendez-vous s'il ne se dépêchait pas. Est-ce qu'on peut dire plus correctement -Stephane raterait son rendez-vous s'il ne se dépêchait pas? Est-ce que j'ai raison? Expliquez -le-moi, s'il vous plaît.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 March 2018

21/03/18

Your sentence is also correct but has a slightly different meaning. 


Stephane was going to miss his meeting if he didn't hurry. -- Stephane allait rater son rendez-vous s'il ne se dépêchait pas  


Stephane would missed his meeting if he didn't hurry. -- Stephane raterait son rendez-vous s'il ne se dépechait pas. 


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 March 2018

21/03/18

Sorry, I made a typo in the second example:


Stephane would miss his meeting, ....


-- Chris. 

Barbara

Kwiziq community member

21 March 2018

1 reply

La question sur l'examen était Stephane ... (allait)

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 March 2018

21/03/18

Please repost your question here. -- Chris. 

Tamani

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2017

1 reply

Quand tu m'as appelé

Should it not be "quand tu m'es appélé?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2017

19/09/17

Bonsoir Tamani,

No, in this case, «m'as appelé» is the correct syntax, the reason being that it is NOT a reflexive verb. Instead «m' = me» functions as a direct object pronoun, who were you going to call --> me.
If, on the other hand, you were telling someone your name, one would say Je m'appelle . . . or Il s'est appelé . . .--> he called himself. . . or more correctly «he is named».
It is very easy to confuse the use of direct object pronouns with the reflexive verbs; however, this is something that you will learn with time.

J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

Dzoan

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2017

1 reply

Qu'est-ce qu'ils allaient s'ennuyer

Qu'est-ce qu'ils allaient s'ennuyer is not a question? Do you have a lesson on that? Thank you.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Bonjour Dzoan !

We don't have a lesson on this yet, but here's an explanation :)

Qu'est-ce que or Comme can both be used to introduce exclamative sentences such as "How bored were they going to get!" or "How nice are you!":
Comme tu es gentil!
Qu'est-ce que tu es gentil!


Here's a link to a related lesson on how to express exclamations with "What a...!":
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/how-to-express-what-a-with-quel-quelle-quels-quelles

À bientôt !

Ellen

Kwiziq community member

9 June 2017

3 replies

How would you write "We used to go to the cafeteria"?

That was the answer I chose and I am curious as to why it is wrong.

Nicholas

Kwiziq community member

9 June 2017

9/06/17

Nous allions à la cafétéria. It's the imparfait when you "used to"do something.

Ellen

Kwiziq community member

9 June 2017

9/06/17

OK thanks.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 June 2017

13/06/17

"We used to go to the cafeteria." is a general statement about the past and therefore translated using the imparfait: "Nous allions à la cafétéria." However, the exercise seems to be about something else (Le futur proche in the past). If you wanted to say "We were going to go to the cafeteria." you would translate this as "Nous allions aller à la cafétéria."

-- Chris.

Dimple

Kwiziq community member

17 September 2016

1 reply

est-ce que je peux écrire j'allais aller?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

19 September 2016

19/09/16

Oui, si vous voulez dire "I was going to go."
How has your day been?