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Que vas-tu faire? * Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Culture, Grammar, Music, Vocabulary

After last week’s example of the passé composé, I thought this week we’d take a look ahead . . . to the avenir (“the future”).

There are two common ways of forming the future in French: the futur proche which like the passé composé is formed using an auxillary verb (recall that the passé composé is formed using the verb avoir for most verbs, and être for a handful of verbs mostly related to movement in space as described in this excellent post from 2010; in the case of the futur proche the auxillary verb is ‘aller’ / to go) and the futur simple which is formed by adding endings to the stem of the verb.

The song below by Sheila, makes use of the future simple and includes lots of other great vocabulary.

Endings for regular verbs in the future simple (Note: for regular -er and -ir verbs, you simply add the ending to the infinitive form of the verb; for -re verbs, remove the ‘e’ and then add the ending.) **

je -ai nous -ons
tu -as vous -ez
il/elle/on -a ils/elles -ont

The verb ’aller’ is irregular in the future simple (so are the vebs être and avoir, but that’s a story for another day!)

j(e)’ irai nous irons
tu iras vous irez
il/elle/on ira ils/elles iront

 

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée / Like the (three) Wise Men in Galilee
Suivaient des yeux l’étoile du Berger / Followed the Shepherd’s star (with their eyes)

Je te suivrai, où tu iras j’irai / I will follow you, where you go I will go
Fidèle comme une ombre jusqu’à destination / Faithful as a shadow until (our) detination

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée / Like the (three) Wise Men in Galilee
Suivaient des yeux l’étoile du Berger / Followed the Shepherd’s star

Comme Christophe Colomb et ses trois caravelles / Like Christopher Columbus and his three caravels
Ont suivi le soleil avec obstination / Followed the sun with persistance

Plaise au ciel*** que j’ouvre mes fenêtres / Let me open my windows
Le matin au bord d’un étang bleu / In the morning on the banks of a blue pond
Plaise au ciel que rien ne nous arrête / Let nothing stop us
Dans ce monde aventureux / In this world of adventure

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée / Like the (three) Wise Men in Galilee
Suivaient des yeux l’étoile du Berger / Followed the Shepherd’s star
Mon Amérique, ma lumière biblique / My America, my biblical light
Ma vérité cosmique, c’est de vivre avec toi / My cosmic truth, is to live with you

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée / Like the (three) Wise Men in Galilee
Suivaient des yeux l’étoile du Berger / Followed the Shepherd’s star

Je te suivrai, où tu iras j’irai / I will follow you, where you go I will go
Fidèle comme une ombre jusqu’à destination / Faithful as a shadow until (our) detination

Plaise au ciel que s’ouvrent les nuages / Let the clouds part
L’éclaircie**** dévoile le chemin / And the sun reveal the path
Plaise au ciel qu’au terme du voyage / At the end of the journey
Son triomphe soit le mien / Let his victory also be mine

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée / Like the (three) Wise Men in Galilee
Suivaient des yeux l’étoile du Berger / Followed the Shepherd’s star

Comme Christophe Colomb et ses trois caravelles / Like Christopher Columbus and his three caravels
Ont suivi le soleil avec obstination / Followed the sun with persistance

 

If you are looking for your music a little more modern . . . and you’d like to see some examples of the future proche . . . check out this song by the jeune chanteuse francaise, Louane. (Listen for ‘tu vas souffrir . . . tu vas mal dormir . . . j(e)’vais ecrire . . . in the chorus in particular).

 

* What are you going to do?

** Here’s a great site for finding all the forms of your favorite verbs in French.

*** ‘Plaise au ciel . . . ‘ could also be translated as “God willing . . . ”, or “May it please the heavens . . . “

**** ‘éclaircie’ in this context doesn’t have a perfect translation, it’s a lightening up due to an opening in the clouds that lets the sun shine through and brighten up the surroundings.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris