"Elle allait sortir."

Translation:She was about to go out.

January 11, 2013

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riclage

Why not accept "She went out"?

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Because it isn't the right verb tense and doesn't convey the same meaning.

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

SO let me see if I understand we use the imperfect of "aller" with the infinitive to mean "was about to ..." Is this an expression for just sortir or does this work with other infinitives? If "allait" was without "sortir", would it then mean "went"? "Il venait d'arriver." means "He had just arrived." but "il allait sortir." means "He was about to go out." WIll I ever remember all these expressions?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In English and in French, there are 2 extra tenses: near future and near past.

Both are built with verbal phrases:

  • near future: I am going/about to + verb = je vais + infinitive
  • near past: I just + past simple/present perfect = je viens (juste) de + infinitive

These also work in past with past perfect in English and imperfect in French:

  • I was going/about to + verb = j'allais + infinitive
  • I had just + past participle = je venais de + infinitive

Therefore,

  • "elle allait sortir" = she was about to go out (near future in past time)
  • "elle venait de sortir" = she had just gone out (near past in past time)

Variants:

  • elle allait sortir = elle était sur le point de sortir (=@on the verge of going out)
  • elle venait de sortir = elle venait juste de sortir
December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dcounts

I'm really glad you're here.

July 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barbie21144

Moi aussi!

July 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eduard830406

Many thanks Sitesurf

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RainOnRoof

@Sitesurf In English we could also say she was going to go out to express intention: e.g., she was planning to go out. Would the French construction also be elle allait sortir or something else?

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"She was going to go out" = elle allait sortir, elle était sur le point de sortir, elle s'apprêtait à sortir.

"She was planning to go out" = elle prévoyait de sortir, elle avait l'intention de sortir, elle comptait sortir

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Or to put it another way Elle (she) allait (was going) sortir (to go out). She was going to go out. She was about to go out is a little more idiomatic and common.

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/appolo1

Thanks now I get it!

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riclage

Thanks!

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

my 'she used to go out' was obviously rubbish. How would you say that in French, s'il vous plait?

September 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1770

I believe that would be "Elle sortait."

February 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

If it makes you feel any better, I put the same thing.

January 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/semeur

I'm laughing at myself for putting the same thing. :0. Have a lingot for making me feel better!

April 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LolaRios

Why not, "She was going out"?

September 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John787925

"To go out" is sortir. Your translation doesn't account for the auxiliary aller, and would be expressed as something like "elle sortait". This is "She was going to go out" (but presumably either didn't, or was interrupted by something else happening).

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattttw

Sure it does. "Aller" is "was going", "sortir" is "going out", put them together and remove the extraneous "going"

January 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

allait (imperfect) is "was going" (continuous past)

sortir (infinitive) is "to go out" (infinitive)

allait sortir = was going to go out

January 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John787925

(Though I suppose you could express that as "She was going out" in English, using the progressive to mean a near-future intention: "What's she up to tonight?" "Well she was going out, but then her son came down with a fever...." But presumably Duo wants to make sure you know the differences between different tenses.)

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stevebrereton

Is this the futur proche usage of "aller" in a past sense, so "je vais faire.".. (I'm going to do..) becomes "j'allais faire."..(I was going to do)?

April 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buffalump21

We could do with a native speaker to help with this one I think... There are lots of questions here but not really a definitive answer.

October 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/divaluisa

What about plural, Elles allaient sortir. Is this correct?

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucy615

In that case there would be a liason so you would hear the S in Elles

July 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barbie21144

I just tried "She was going to go out" and that was accepted. That translation makes more sense literally (allait - was going; sortir - to go out)

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pfeil

Why can't it be "she would go out"?

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skipping.Stars

This uses the imparfait and not the conditional

August 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hemanttsha

..She..sort of stepped out/or was just about to cross the boundary. . but due to some reason..had to come back..pls clarify.

August 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordyFarrell

Can you not use imparfait to say used to?

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

You can, but that's not what is being used here.

January 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jam_fluent

I don't think this is the pluperfect/plus-que parfait (imperfect + past participle). Is this (imperfect + infinitive) just imperfect/imparfait? Thanks

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is a near future.... happening in the past:

  • elle va sortir (present) = she is going/about to go out
  • elle allait sortir (imperfect) = she was going/about to go out
July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jam_fluent

Merci bcp!!

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/champguy

I have just been corrected from "she was going out" to " she was going to exit"........

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"She was going out" back-translates to "elle sortait" but not "elle allait sortir".

To translate "elle allait sortir", you need 2 verbs: "to be going" in past simple, to express an upcoming action in the past and a verb like "to exit" to mean "sortir".

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/champguy

Thank you Sitesurf; what would we do without you? I think I was mostly shocked by the "to exit"!

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RfQxZNDE

about to go out? What's wrong with simply she was going out? Or she was going to go out?

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CENGBERG

Sigh, all I want to do is get a cafe creme in a PMU in the Massif Central.

February 2, 2019
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