I was wondering whether or not to use the verb aller for passé composé? Originaly, do to the fact that aller is part of dr and mrs vandertramp, I thought that it was conjugated with être, but then when my friend asked our teacher, she said that we should just conjugate it with avoir until we move on to être later. This caused me to be confused with which verb I should be using to conjugate aller in passé composé.

  • Any French conjugation table will show you aller is conjugated with être (e.g.. I'm amazed at your teacher's answer.
    – None
    Commented Jun 19 at 18:36
  • @None Any conjugation table ? ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Commented Jun 19 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


Être, always être.

But if your teacher asks you to do it a certain way, what can you do. Perhaps you can demonstrate to them that you're ready to use it properly already.

A lot of my students in French immersion in Canada come to me from their Grade 8 classes saying "J'ai allé", so perhaps there's a little subculture dialect there, but it doesn't have wider acceptance. Some research on the spread of this usage would be interesting (has it graduated from repeatedly taught mistake to feature of natural language).

A more subtle point is that not all DMV verbs always use être, but this time I'll be the one saying don't worry about it for now. And aller isn't one of the ones that can vary.

  • 1
    I've never heard j'ai allé except from very young children learning to speak, and for most of them by the time they go to kinder garden it will have been rectified
    – None
    Commented Jun 19 at 18:39
  • @None No doubt, and yet here I most recently heard it from an immersion graduate (in this case all the way to Grade 12) who's about to enter an education program in the fall hoping to teach French :/
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Jun 19 at 18:51
  • 2
    Si j'aurais su, j'aurais pas allé au Canada. Commented Jun 19 at 20:13
  • @LukeSawczak Not just Canada, it is a common mistake from non native French speakers here too.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Jun 19 at 20:22
  • @jlliagre Yeah. The interesting thing that needs to be said for context is that French immersion and all-French schools here, if started early and continued all the way through, do produce near-native fluency much of the time. (In one metric, ability to have a conversation, they're 12-15x more effective than Core French!) And yet these speakers have some odd features but that are shared so broadly that suggest a subculture/dialect to me. Another common one is "je vas".
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Jun 19 at 20:38

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