Is there any difference between "va faire" and "ira faire" ? Example:

  • Il va faire du cerf-volant demain.
  • Il ira faire du cerf-volant demain.
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    The sample sentences in the answer written by @Eauquidort both make sense to me. However, I can't imagine a situation in which your second sentence, Il ira faire du cerf-volant demain would make sense. I agree with Eau qui dort that there is a difference between the two expressions, with one involving movement and the other not, but in the case of faire du cerf-volant there is implicit movement anyway, as this isn't something you would do in your back yard! In other words, the movement is already included in the action. So, there would never be a need for "ira" in this particular example. Aug 17, 2019 at 15:26
  • Even if "ira" is not required in my sentence because the movement is already implicit, I assume it still can be used for emphasis ? Aug 17, 2019 at 19:55
  • I'm not sure what you mean by emphasis. Maybe you mean that it is emphasizing the going -- the fact that the boy will be going elsewhere for the activity. If so, then yes. // Your choice of verbs for talking about the future is actually quite simple. You can either use "va" with the verb in question (equivalent to he's going to take his make-up test tomorrow) or you can conjugate the verb in question in the future tense (equivalent to he will take the make-up test tomorrow). The third option you came up with, where you try to do both things (a form of aller plus a ... Aug 17, 2019 at 23:23
  • ... conjugation in the future tense) is a bit weird. Now, if you want to ask about the difference between the two valid options, that would be a separate question. If it hasn't been asked yet (sorry, I have not looked to see if it has), that would be an interesting question, I think. Aug 17, 2019 at 23:29
  • Yes, I meant emphasis on the movement. Thanks! I am well aware of the future forms of French, the point here was understanding the nuance of using "ira faire qqch" and it is now clear. Aug 19, 2019 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


"Ira" necessitates that some movement will happen (in other words, it's a verb of movement in the future tense), while "va" doesn't.

Take a sentence like "Elle ira travailler chez elle demain". It only makes sense if she's not currently at home. The same sentence with "va" wouldn't have the same truth conditionals, it's fine to use whether she's already home or not. In order to have an equivalent sentence using "va", youd need to use "Elle va aller travailler chez elle demain"

  • How could I translate the 2nd sentence to English to express the same meaning? Aug 16, 2019 at 23:45
  • He will go and play flying-deer ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Aug 17, 2019 at 4:42
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    @AlanEvangelista - She's going to her [other?] house tomorrow to do some work. (That's not a literal word-for-word translation -- it's a functional translation that conveys the same meaning as the given sentence.) Keep in mind that a simple future would be Elle travaillera chez elle demain. So, "Elle va aller travailler" has to be different from "She will work." Aug 17, 2019 at 15:20
  • Oh, I just realized you were maybe requesting a translation of the second sentence in the original post. Sorry. If that is the case: the second sentence in your original post would not be authentic, so no point in translating it. Aug 17, 2019 at 15:30
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    @AlanEvangelista In English it's similar to the phrasal verb "going off to" or "going out to". "She's going to work tomorrow" vs "she's going off to work tomorrow." The first is pure grammar and the second indicates physical motion.
    – hunter
    Aug 17, 2019 at 16:12

There is no great difference since the respective tenses are two future tenses, the "futur immédiat" and the "future simple", but that is true only as far as the action per se is concerned.

There can be a subtle difference; in the first case you are dealing with a matter of fact statement. In the second you can stress « demain » and then you are saying that he is not going to do it now or at another time, you are saying that some other time than tomorrow that has been considered will not do.

Here is another subtle difference; the "future simple" can be used for a sarcastic effect. The pronunciation, of course, is crucial in the conveying of the sarcasm and I will not go into that as the discussion is beyond my means, but let it be said that the "futur immédiat" is not proper for this purpose. The sarcasm is to the effect that such a thing is a trivial occupation in comparison to something else that is in question.

  • — Pourquoi ne pas le laisser lire ses Mickey Mouse et ses Donald Duck ?
    — Quand son instituteur l'interrogera sur ses leçon il lui récitera Mickey Mouse !
    "il va lui réciter" is not proper, but it must be said again, the intonation is very important

As the first form is used for matter of fact statements it is used much more than the second (ngram).

An important difference lies in what prompted someone answering with either one of those forms : if the reply is meant to tell someone that the boy/man will not be able to do something else in reason of his playing with a kite, you must use the form in the "futur immédiat"; the other one does not convey the message idiomatically.

  • 1
    I think that any tense can express sarcasm. Could you give more details of how the sentence with the Futur Simple may be used sarcastically (and why the sentence with the Futur Proche cannot achieve the same effect) ? Aug 16, 2019 at 23:06
  • @AlanEvangelista True, sarcasm can be embodied in any form, provided, among other things, that you have at your command the proper intonations; however, the case I mention is a tipyfied instance of that, it's dedicated to that particular type of sarcasm I mention and not any sort you might have in mind. There are other points, besides the highlighting of triviality; it can be derisiveness, unreasonableness, etc. (triviality being merely typical).
    – LPH
    Aug 16, 2019 at 23:18
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    This andwer is missing the real difference between the sentences and the "sarcastic" part is nonsensical.
    – jlliagre
    Aug 17, 2019 at 4:54
  • 4
    Plainly wrong, the answer should be deleted.
    – user21018
    Aug 17, 2019 at 5:36
  • 1
    @LPH. None so deaf…
    – user21018
    Aug 17, 2019 at 8:56

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