French Verbs of Movement : Aller, Venir, Habiter

french verbs for movement habiter aller venir

Movement is an essential part of our lives, and that is why it’s of tremendous importance to learn the verbs related to movements in French.

Today you’ll learn how to say go, come and live in the French language. Learning to make a difference between aller, venir and habiter, you’ll eliminate one of the most common mistakes French learners make.

french verb aller go

French Verb Aller

aller – to go

Learning French verb aller early on, will spare you a lot of trouble later, cause apart from its common usage, it also makes part of many expressions and even a completely isolated tense Future Proche.

This is one of the most irregular verbs in French. Let’s see how the verb aller conjugates in Present Simple Tense.

Je vais
Tu vas
Il/Elle va
Nous allons
Vous allez
Ils/Elles vont

To see how aller conjugates in other tenses, check the Figaro Conjugation.

When to Use French Verb Aller

Take a look at some common usages.

  • to express a near-future action. Verb aller actually makes part of the French tense called Future Proche, designated to express a near future.

I’m going to speak.

Je vais parler.

  • to express something is going well or not

Je vais bien.

l go well.

  • to express going on foot

Tu vas à pied.

You go on foot.

  • to express going someplace. Note that in this case aller requires preposition à.

Je vais à Paris.

l go to Paris.

Note that in front of the city names,  the preposition à won’t change to (à la, au, aux)

Elle va au magasin.

She’s going to the store.

Ils vont à la plage.

They’re going to the beach. 

Il va aux toilettes.

He goes to the toilet.

  • to express going by car  aller en voiture

Il va en voiture à l’université.

He’s driving to college.

  • to express something is a good match

Le café et le gateau vont bien ensemble.

Coffee and a cake go well together.

  • to express something suits someone ça te va bien

Cette robe te va bien.

This dress suits you.

  • to express going to look for something or someone, picking up someone

Il va chercher Marie.

He’s getting Marie. He’s picking up Marie.

Venir in the Present Tense

Venir – to come

This irregular verb does not follow the regular -ir verb conjugation pattern, but it does follow the -enir verb conjugation.

In the present tense, here is how to conjugate the French verb “to come”.

Je viens
Tu viens
Il/Elle vient
Nous venons
Vous venez
Ils/Elles viennent

When to Use French Verb Venir

  • to express have just

Venir, is another verb that, similarly to verb aller, is needed to create a whole tense. Le passé récent is created when venir de  is followed by an infinitive.

When translated to English, it has the meaning, have just.

Je viens de finir le livre.

l just finished reading the book.

Click here to learn more about the Recent Past in French.

  • to express the origin, or coming from someplace

Note that when saying the country, region or state  you use the verb venir followed by contracted articles (de, du, des)

Je viens de France. (f.)

l come from France.

Je viens du Texas. (m.)

l come from Texas.

Je viens des Etats Unis. (pl.)

l come from USA.

  • to express wanted things are coming in the future

Ça va venir.

It will come. It will happen.

French Verb Habiter

We saved the best for the last. The news is, the verb habiter is a regular one. It means that conjugates according to verbs that end in -er.

Take a look at its conjugation in Present Simple Tense.

tu habites
il habite
nous habitons
vous habitez
ils habitent

To see how habiter conjugates in other tenses, see Reverso Conjugator.

When to Use French Verb Habiter

  • to live in, to reside in, to inhabit

 J’habite à Paris. 

I live in Paris.

Nous avons habité une maison. 

We lived in a house.

  •  to express staying at the hotel or university residence.

J’habite à l’hôtel.

l am staying at the hotel.

  • to live upstairs or downstairs

Nous habitons au-dessus / au-dessous.

We live upstairs/downstairs.

Many are confused with verbs such as Habiter and Vivre, to learn the difference between, read the article Habiter vs Vivre.

There are other words that resemble the verb habiter, such as loger, demurer, résider.

Other French Verbs of Movements

  • arriver > to arrive
  • descendre > to descend / go downstairs
  • entrer > to enter
  • monter > to climb
  • partir > to leave

Tu viens ou pas ?

There are a number of verbs expressing movement in French as well as other languages. Talking about coming, going, or staying falls into the category of everyday topics.

By learning aller, venir, and habiter, you are good to converse with any French about your short and long trips.

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