FR: I went swimming

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by grantja, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. grantja Senior Member

    J'ai nagé. (I swam).

    In English, we often say, I went swimming to describe the past tense... is this used... je suis allé nager?

    I assume the first (j'ai nagé.) is the most accurate and used by the French?
  2. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Actually, the difference between "I swam" and "I went swimming" exists in French too. "J'ai nagé" means "I swam," so presumably there's some other information about you being near a body of water elsewhere in the sentence. But "J'suis allé nager" means "I went swimming," so I would assume that you went to a beach, a pool, etc. for the express purpose of swimming.
  3. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member


    No, it's actually the same! If you say J'ai nagé, it sounds like I swam or I've swum. The person you're taking to would probably feel like replying When?? or So what?

    Je suis allé(e) nager is fine.
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Nb. French actually follows the same "to go X'ing" pattern for all verbs. There are actions (hiking, dancing, running, biking) that we normally think of as happening not in the normal space where we're located, actions that we have to "go do." French has the same distinction for all these verbs.

    So, just as you would say "I was at the beach all day Sunday. It was awesome - I swam, I read my book, I got a great tan" in English, you would use "j'ai nagé" in that context in French.
  5. Bobbum Senior Member

    Je me demande si on pouvais dire J'ai fait de (la) natation.
  6. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Why not? The verb is "faire de la natation." "La semaine dernière à Hawaii, je faisais deux heures de natation par jour." But "faire de la natation" often has to do with sport practice, I believe.
  7. Chimel Senior Member

    Yes, you wouldn't say "faire de la natation" if you went swimming in the sea just for leisure.
  8. Bobbum Senior Member

    Ok. It was just a wild guess.
  9. bitossi New Member

    so does 'je vais nager' mean 'I go swimming' or 'I am going to go swimmimg'?
  10. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    The sentence structure is exactly the same in both languages. :)

    Je nage
    = I swim
    Je vais nager = I go swimming
    Je vais aller nager = I'm going to go swimming
  11. DrChen

    DrChen Senior Member

    It could also be translated as "I am going swimming".
    Je vais nager demain=I'm going swimming tomorrow.

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