Je vais au cinéma Translate as I will to the cinema. How does it mean I will go to the cinema when we have not used French word for go?

2 Answers 2


Aller can be used as a semi-auxiliary verb to express an action in the future, but it must be followed by the verb that expresses the future action or state in question, even if it is also aller. Otherwise, it is used in the sense of to go. Je vais au cinéma expresses that the narrator is going (or that he goes) to the cinema. To express that the narrator will go to the cinema, one must instead write Je vais aller au cinéma.

It is not always helpful to define words in isolation, especially with the aid of a platform such as Google Translate that does not give much context, when we are concerned with a word with multiple meanings. It is more helpful to consult a bilingual dictionary that will also give you examples of usage that will help contextualize meaning.

  • Je vais au cinéma is most likely: I'm going to the movies. I will go=intention, is j'irai au cinéma. //I'm going to go to the movies, Je vais aller au x.
    – Lambie
    Oct 12, 2020 at 14:44
  • @Lambie The present tense in French is used both for habitual and for continuous actions. Je vais au cinéma régulièrement. I regularly go to the movies. Aujourd'hui, je vais au cinéma. Today, I'm going to the movies. And while you're right that the future tense irai can be used, eventuality is often expressed using aller as an auxiliary alongside an infinitive verb in spoken French. But I wouldn't say there is an exact one to one equivalence between "will go to" and "vais aller".
    – Domino
    Oct 14, 2020 at 19:11
  • @Domino I never said that vais aller is will. I am saying it is not. vais aller can be two things: "going to go" or "going" used as future. But will as in will go has to be j'irai.
    – Lambie
    Oct 14, 2020 at 22:18

The French word for go, the infinitive form, is the verb aller, and it is irregular.

Verbs in French are conjugated:
Present Tense
Je vais
Tu vas
Il/elle va

Nous allons
Vous allez
Ils/elles vont

Je vais au cinéma. = Translation: I'm going to the movies (cinema).
OR Je vais au cinéma [toutes les semaines]. = Translation: I go to the movies (cinema) [every week].

I will go to the cinema. in French would be: J'irai au cinéma.

The future tense is conjugated like this:

J'irai [I will go]
Tu iras [He will go, etc.]
Il/elle ira
Nous irons
Vous irez
Ils/Elles iront

  • I did not understand your answer sir
    – Srijan
    Oct 11, 2020 at 14:44
  • French has only one present tense (je vais): English has two present tenses. I go and I'm going.=present simple and present progressive. Therefore, je vais can be either one. It depends on the context.
    – Lambie
    Oct 11, 2020 at 14:45
  • I am trying to understand you sir but am new pls don’t mind
    – Srijan
    Oct 11, 2020 at 14:49
  • I think you might want to look up what a conjugation is in French. For example: the verb aller. English does not have conjugations like French.
    – Lambie
    Oct 11, 2020 at 14:51
  • Ok sir merci beacoup
    – Srijan
    Oct 11, 2020 at 14:55

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