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  5. "J'y vais."

"J'y vais."

Translation:I go there.

February 7, 2013



Transcribing from the audio shouldn't be the first way we encounter this phrase.


I agree. Sometimes, I wish Duolingo had a grammar reference/ pre-explanation section, where some rules about French or other languages could be explained or explored in a fun way, not just your average textbook. For a student who has a pretty solid background in French, Duolingo is a great service for review or whatnot. For a new French student, however, translation (Duolingo's main teaching resource) isn't going to cut it in terms of full knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of the language.

For a student learning French, especially from English (not saying that you are if you aren't, but I am) it can be kind of hard to understand that a subject and a verb don't qualify as a complete thought as in English. The "y" has to be present to state that "I'm going there". "I'm going" ("Je vais") just doesn't fly in French...


I agree too. However I think we must allow them some credit for the fact that it's a brand new service and the fact that they are running it completely free. The discussion function also works pretty well for when you're lost, confused and need help. Though it's definitely worth suggesting your idea of a grammar reference explanation section via the feedback.


Oh, and one more thing. The language keyboard used in exercises should available in the forum discussions as well. How can we aid each other in learning the language if we don't have the language at our full disposal.


Whether you are on a computer or mobile phone YOU have the ability to install dictionaries/keyboards that suit YOUR needs. Duo doesn't need to supply them, and it would be huge for them to offer & support such a thing - especially free.


Mine came up first as text. It is an algorithm -- albeit an incomplete one. Duolingo takes the approach of learning a language naturally, through experience and mistakes, unlike the textbook style, which requires rote memorization. While memorization is more practical and expedient for mere communication's sake, natural learning has been proven to be the more effective route to learn to speak a language fluently.


Completely agree. I love this way of learning. Getting answers wrong and then finding out why is an enjoyable part of the learning process.


I agree. I think it's an interesting approach and once I understood that they were going to throw in some curveballs, I just decided to roll with it. I learn, whether I get things "right" or "wrong", just as I would if I were in a French-speaking city or classroom and making mistakes as I went along. (But with much less possible embarrassment ...) :)


But every once in a while having a couple of paragraphs give an overview of concepts that are then strengthened by the exercises would be idea for me. Without that there is far more rote memorization of individual sentences while never understanding the structure of the language.


I think this will be added eventually--there are explanations in some of the languages on Duolingo. For now, you have to look elsewhere (http://french.about.com being a good place to start).


It is available on the web version of Duolingo:


Just click on the Pronouns-2 skill and click on the lightbulb for the tips and notes and scroll down for the explanation about "y" .


This person gets it.


Mine also came up as text first. I also find the Tips and notes very helpful.Top left hand corner .


merci, this is indeed a great site


Hi Ivory, don't know when you wrote this, but in case you haven't discovered it yet, you can find those grammar references/pre-explanations you are looking for on the on-line version of Duolingo (there is usually a Tips & Notes section for each module). They are so helpful that I tend to check out the on-line version, as well as using my app. Hope this helps. (29/12/2015....or 12/29/2015 if you use American dating!)


Duolingo's comment section can be pretty solid on explaining grammar, though.


There is a "tips" section when on the website but it doesn't exist on the app.


If you want to learn more of the language you can get it for free on the computer.


yeah, but then DL will fall into the same language learning methods that never get you speaking with the natives, many examples of this have already been shown with students learning grammar rules in Spanish or french in the US and guess what, they're not speaking the language today because of it


But Duolingo have a pre-explanation section... This section is not available in app from cell phones, but you can access it by login in on the website duolingo.com . You need to login with your same password used to access the app. In that website, in each lesson's subject, there is a pre-explanation...


Personally i find this sort of opinion amusing. Duo isn't marking you, it's teaching you. To say that it's unfair that you lost a heart is, quite frankly, hilarious. That is the method they are using, they force you to make a mistake so that you remember the lesson. 3 mistakes and you redo the whole thing, thus exposing yourself to even more French. If it takes you 20 turns to complete a lesson I promise you it won't affect your future employment prospects or your chances of getting into university. This isn't high school and duo won't be sending letters home to your parents. There are literally no negative consequences to "failing" a lesson therefore it can hardly be unfair. It's an amazingly effective and free learning resource.


I agree. After all, practice makes perfect.


Ozlaps that's telling them. And rightly so.


Duoling does have explanation. But i think only if you use the computer or website can you see it. Click on a skill and scroll down to see them.


Now you must click on the skill then click on the lightbulb and then scroll down.


They have more features on desktop version not sure why dont they activate some of those features for app users like many of us


That is very interesting! So even if a french person was leaving in anger, during an arguement for instance, would he/she s t i l l say the ' y ' ?


If you are not saying specifically where you are going then you would use “y”, but French has a different way to express “I’m leaving.” which is “Je m’en vais.” (which is like saying “I am going from here.” except the French version is reflexive so it reminds me of “I am taking myself from here.”). or “Je pars” (which is used more when you are leaving for a trip, perhaps by plane.)

Scroll down for some examples here: https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-french/I%e2%80%99m+leaving


There are so many uses for this special word. https://dictionary.reverse.net/french-english/Y

This one also has varied uses. https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/En


When we use a computer there is a section that teaches gramar. Too bad it isnt available for the mobile version, assuming a lot of people use just the mobile one.


Even on a mobile phone one can access the internet version through an internet browser.


You are so right. It helps to have other study material or a related background when learning from Duolingo. My knowledge of Spanish has helped me a lot and i use other resources along with Duolingo.


I agree, I think it ought to come up first as text.


I did not get introduced to it through the audio, so maybe DL changed it? 3/18/16


Also,I was using my phone app.


Very true. There's nothing behind the construction or history of the phrase, just there it is. Learn it.


Completely agree


I do not fully understand this sentence here. Why cannot we say "je vais"? Isn't it the same? What is the function of "y" here?


"y" is the part that means "there". "J'y vais" means "I go there" while "je vais" means "I go".


Exactly, and the French language requires that one have a subject-object-verb structured sentenece. "Je vais" is an incmplete thought in French...


How would you say, "I go here," then? « J'y vais ici. » ?


Y and ici contradict each other, pick one!


So, « Je vais ici. » would be how one would say "I go here."?


MMM....i have a question, it's possible to say "Je vais la" and it's mean the same?


I believe "Je va la" means I go her


The conjugation for « je » is « vais ». « va » can only be used for « il » / « elle ». Just like "am" can only be used for "I" and "is" for "he"/"she." I am not sure of the whole « Je vais là. » thing, though. (Careful: « là » = "there" and « la » = "the.")


so is "there i go" incorrect?


Yes. There I go is "La je vais."(La has an accent over it, and it is not "the", but with an accent, "there").


Là je vais

(to get the à hold alt and type 133. look up "french alt codes")


Sure, but I guess "there you go" (meaning you finally got it right) is not "Là vous allez", right? And "here you are" (meaning this is for you) is "voilà"?


now following this


The difference is in the function of "there". In "J'y vais", "y" is an object pronoun (if you don't know about object pronouns, a great website to use is About.com, because they play a huge role in French). In "La je vais", "there" is a simple direction marker, so to speak, indicating where the person is. Kind of like an adverb I guess?


So you mean "La je vais" means "I go over there," rather than "I go there."?

  • là-bas = 'over there'


  • voilà = 'there you go' (in this context; so yes, you're correct)

  • alors, tiens = 'here you are'


Why is "there i go"not accepted?


Probably a word order issue. I'm not sure


It has a different denotation - I go there - means I am going to a specified place There I go - means you are leaving to a unspecific area and you wouldn't use it in first person, it would only be in a 2nd person written example.


If you think about it, "There I go" doesn't really mean the same thing as "I go there". In the first, the "there" refers to the person whereas in the second one, it refers to the place the person is headed toward.


It is worse than that. “There I go again!” has nothing to do with a location at all, but everything to do with a situation that you have gotten yourself into.


So spelled out it would be Je y vais?


Yes, except that the contraction is not optional, you have to contract it to "J'y vais."


SO "y" indicates there... or ?


Yes, yes it does. You know how names and nouns have pronouns; for example, you can call Billy "he" and the centipede "it"? Well, French has a pronoun for places: « y ». "Did you go to the supermarket yet?" « Oui, j'y suis allé ce matin. » ("Yes, I went there this morning.")


Why isn't "I'll go there" accepted?


Then it would be "j'y irai", I think?


The audio for vais is terrible, it almost sounds like the Spanish voy, it should sound like veh


On my desktop, it sounds exactly like "veh." Idk....


Horrid audio. The women's voice is not clear. The man's is. Weird.


¥øµ 夀 §ø ¤ïght. J€ åg¤€€.


It's pronounced jay


Have we previously learned "vais"? It gave no translation possibilities... I just guessed "there" over "herself" (which I also haven't yet learned).


« vais » is a conjugation of the verb « aller » which means "to go." « Je vais » means "I go." The « y » is an adverbial pronoun that means "(to) there." The word "herself" would not fit in this sentence and, depending on the sentence, would most likely be translated as « elle-même ».


Can someone give me a quick rerun on French sentence structure?


Subject verb object, like English. Here, there's an adverb which, like in English, can go almost anywhere. This sentence, hence, is subject adverb verb. Oddly enough, this doesn't work in English. There exists "There I go," and "I go there," but not "I there go."


Pronoun objects go before the verb in French though.


'I'll go' ?? Like the door rings and you say j'y vais ??


J'irai = I'll go

J'y irai = I'll go there

Je vais = I go

J'y vais = I go there

Hope I could be of help.


would this be used in common conversation? Such as, for example "I'm headed there now" or is it completely literal like "Have you heard of St. Billybob's school?" "yes, I go there."


I think it can also be used for "I am going there now," but not sure.


Is that right about French grammar: Subject + Object + Verb?


«y» is not an object but a locational (Is that a word?) pronoun or preposition, kinda like "there." Call it what you may, object pronouns do come before the verb, but not when the object is a noun: « Je mange une pomme. » but « Je la mange. ».


Dont you go there girrrlll!


The pronunciation is wrong. It should sound like jee vay, not a in the middle. It should flow just as well as Je vais


Why not "je vais y"?


I think it is because « y » is a pronoun, and all pronouns in French come before the verb.


"J'y vais. You stay." -The Iron Giant


It accepted "I go". I figured since "On y va" means "Let's go!" then this would be similar. Why would it be "I go there" in this situation and just "Let's go" for "on y va"? How do you use the "y"?


In both cases, the "there" is implied. « On y va. » can mean "Let's go there," or "We go there," too.


Someone explain this.


« Je » = "I," « y » = "there," and « vais » = "(I) go;" « J'y vais. » = "I go there."


Can someone please explaiin when to use vais when to use "aller"?


When the subject is « je » or « il/elle » or whenever in English you say "I go" or "he/she/it goes," you use « vais ». Whenever there is a helping/linking verb before the verb and whenever you mean to say "to go" in English (e.g. "I want to go."), you use the infinitive form « aller » (e.g. « Je veux aller. »).


Doesn' "There I go" mean the same thing? True, in English we usually use this word order when refering to an abstract location, and "I go there" more often when refeding to a phisical location, but they can be used interchangeably, can't they?


"There I go" is an expression which probably translates differently. Since it is abstract one could as easily say "Here I go."

"y" does refer to a physical location, even if unknown.


This is hard to say :(


In IPA, it is [ʒi vɛ].


Anyone can help me to explain this :-|


« je » = "I," « y » = "there," and « vais » = "[I] go."


Salut, filles et garçons, et femmes et hommes.


Can i say ( je vais là) ?


I was told "là" meant "there". So "y" means "there" too?

"Y est un maison" or "là est un maison" ?


They do not mean "there" in the same way. « y » means "there" in pronoun form, while « là » is the actual word for "there." It is like with names. If my name is "ZuMako8_Momo," when I say "I," the word "I" means "ZuMako8_Momo," in short pronominal form. It is the same thing with « y ».


Ohh i understand now. Thank you very much :)


This is hard D:


Subject then object then the verb?

French is weird :/


« y » is not an object. It is an adverb, which, just like in English, have relatively free word order. In this sentence, however, it works best to put « y » right after « je », since pronouns (« y » acts as an adverbial pronoun, where « là » is actually the adverb it stands for) always go before the conjugated verbs. Generally, French has the same S-V-O word order as English, but it is not as set in stone as it is in English.


Thank you so much for the explanation.


i typed i go and was right


I vaguely get the difference between « y » and « là », but I don't really understand, why would two different words be needed? Why can't it be « je vais là »?


I think it can also be « Je vais là »; that would just be an alternative way of saying it, just like in English you can say "I give him it" and "I give it to him."


Whats the meaning of y in j'y vais?


It is a pronoun that means "there."


Why cant be just "je vais"


That only means "I go." We want to translate "I go there."


I've used Duolingo on the computer, iphone and android and noticed that the iphone app provides some explanation with the new words but not android and android has this forum but not iphone. And also android app gives combo bonus and not the iphone app. I wonder why the difference in functions and features and if they can make them consistent so users have consistent experience.


Best place to get the most is the web version which you can access through your web browser. There are tips and notes for which you can click on the skill and then click on the lightbulb to reach them.





i look at the translation and it said that "y" could be said as about. when i type "I go about" they said it was wrong


The hints are for all sentences but each word is not for every sentence.


I thought j' (in place of je) only occurs when the next word begins with a vowel or a silent h? For example j'ai une tortue or j'aime mon chapeau


"Y" is considered both a vowel and a consonant in French.


If the next word begins with a vowel sound, and "y" sounds like [ee].


Why not "I am going there"? It is correct in analogous examples.


Yes, try reporting it if it is not accepted as correct.


I have a great way to get the latest version of it


@Sitesurf: Could we say "Je vais là". Thank you for your time.


One thing that throes me off is when I put my moues over the word, it show it in English. The thing is, is that it shows it, but all mixed up. I know that French converted into English always comes out mixed up, I guess that is just how it works. Like when you look at a food product and it says, "gluten free," in French it says, "sans gluten." For some ODD reason, that is what mixes me up, which it shouldn't.


Pronouns always come before the conjugated form of the verb, so once you learn them all, you will know to unmix them after a while.


You all don't want to hear it first, but that's how you'd probably first encounter it. Someonw saying it, and it's not supposed to be easy. This way makes you think about it, and you're supposed to learn from your mistake. That's how it is learned.


The expression is so idiomatic, an idiomatic response like, "I'm on my way..." should be accepted. I'm going, without the "there" is even more correct, idiomatically.


I find the woman's speech very difficult; she seems to cut the first word very short - I live in France and do not have as much difficulty understanding my French neighbours as I do this women; He, on the other hand, speaks perfectly for my hearing.


I understand the "y" to mean "there" in this instance.

I am puzzled as to why I was marked wrong previously for translating "He goes and I go" as "Il va et je vais" .

Duo informed me that , despite the lack of "there" being in the original sentence, the correct answer should have been: "Il y va et j'y vais".

Can anyone enlighten me please?


Luckily for me , mine was written as well as said. I honestly don't think the ' y ' would be discernable just by ear. Not the way the man says it. Only context MAY help me.


Y sounds like ee, but the vowel in je sounds a bit like uh, actually the schwa sound. Here, listen to native speakers saying both of these: https://forvo.com/search/Je%20vais%20j%E2%80%99y%20vais/


i don't hear the pronounce of letter "Y' in the above sentence ,,, any help ?!!


If it were « Je vais. », the first word « Je » would be pronounced something like "Jeuh." With the « y », « J'y » in « J'y vais. » is pronounced "Jee." Very different sound than usual « Je ». Bonne chance.


does anyone really use this construction in English? "I go there"? Is "I will go there" wrong?


Sure. "Did you go to the movies recently? I go there every Friday night."




Does "y" count as a vowel? Thanks!


The French "y" is both a vowel and a consonant.


How would you say "I went there"? Would it be "J'y suis alle"? Or would the "y" go after the helping verb and before the past participle?


"J'y suis allé(e)" would be correct. Pronouns are placed before the auxiliary verb in passé composé.


I don't understand the meaning and using the "y" some one can help us please


The litteral translation is "I there go."


That's not correct


' I go' was marked correct for me...


Cant you say Je vais la?


"la" without the accent means "the" or "her" or "it"


How it will be in a negative? Je n'y vais pas?


Can this also be translated as "I am going there" ?


Why not je vais? What is the tvfor?


The “y” means “there”. In French, the verb aller expects you to say where the person is going.


Thank ALLintolearning, knowing that "Y" is required with "Aller" makes it clear to me now :]


Except, as I realized from someone else’s question, if you want to say from where, then you would say “Je m’en vais.” which is a reflexive form of aller to mean “I am leaving” (from here).

So, I should modify that “aller” uses “y” to replace destination location or “en” for “from here”. There must be a place involved or one of those special locational “preposition plus place” replacing pronouns.

When we are not talking about physically going to or from somewhere, that does not apply, as there are many expressions that have nothing to do with physically going to or from somewhere. “I am going to do something.” or “Je vais faire quelque chose.”, for example, or “Je vais bien. which means “I am well.” or “I am doing well.”


It is much clearer from this lady than from the man. Would still have to listen carefully but th ' y ' sound can be heard.


I would be unable to understand this via just the audio on my phone, A lady's voice. It just sounds like nonsence.


Maybe it would help to understand French pronunciation. Here is a site where you can listen to live native voices:



While y is locative for 'there', does French have any equivalent to the distinctions of thither (to there) and thence (from there)?


Nicely formulated question.

I would say that 'y' serves as both a locative and a 'toward' directional (thither). I don't know of any 'away from' directional. I believe 'en' and 'y' are the only French words that work like that.

By the way, Catalan uses these, too. It's the only other language that does as far as I know.

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