Allons-y! Fun expressions to say Let’s Go! in French

Celine Segueg

One of the most common French expressions you’re likely to hear people use is the phrase Allons-y ! Generally speaking, this phrase means Let’s go! in French. It can be used in many different situations and contexts, and is an all-around handy expression to know.

In this post, we’ll explore the various uses of this phrase, along with examples to help you work it into your French vocabulary. We’ll also include several other ways to say Let’s go! in French so you can switch it up, along with some other forms of these expressions.

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Are you ready? Allons-y!


This is our most common expression for saying Let’s go in French, so let’s take a deep look at its grammar and uses.

Allons-y grammar

The classic phrase Allons-y! in French means Let’s go! Despite its simple meaning, its construction is less straightforward because it uses the imperative mood along with a pronoun that’s omitted in the English translation.

The expression Allons-y! is actually a complete sentence, as it uses the verb aller, meaning to go in French, in the command form (this tense is called the imperatif présent). For a sentence to be grammatically complete in other tenses, we need at least a subject and a conjugated verb; however, the command form is an exception. Only the conjugated form of the verb is necessary.

The same rule is true in English: when giving a command, you only need the verb. Let’s see a comparison of the indicative vs imperative:

  • Indicatif présent: Tu manges tes légumes. – You eat your vegetables.
  • Impératif présent: Mange tes légumes ! – Eat your vegetables!

The pronoun “y” in French generally means “there,” and replaces a place. In the expression Allons-y!, the pronoun “y” indicates that there is a place that we’re going. This phrase would literally translate to “Let’s go there,” but the “there” in our English equivalent is implied and does not need to be stated.

Finally, we include the dash to connect the two words because this is a standard when we give commands with the impératif. The correct spelling is not “Allons y,” it’s always Allons-y.

Allons-y uses and situations

Using the phrase Allons-y! in French is quite simple, and very similar to using the phrase Let’s go! in English. You’ll get the most use out of this expression when you’re with a group of people that you need to motivate to get moving from one place to another.

  • C’était un déjeuner magnifique, mais le film commence bientôt. Allons-y ! – It was a magnificent lunch, but the movie starts soon. Let’s go!
  • As-tu toutes tes affaires ? Bon, allons-y. – Do you have all your things? Good, let’s get going.

This phrase can also be used to start a group of people on an activity in any situation, as in Let’s begin! In this context, there is no implied place, as it is used in an idiomatic way.

  • Alors, on est prêts pour le jeu ? Allons-y ! – Well, are we ready for the game? Let’s begin!
  • Tout le monde est assis pour la réunion ? Parfait. Allons-y ! Qui veut prendre la parole en premier ? – Everyone is seated for the meeting? Perfect. Let’s get started! Who wants to speak first?

Note that this phrase is neither formal nor informal, and can thus be used in either formal or informal situations. Allons is conjugated in the first-person plural nous form, so the phrase is to be used with a group of more than one person that includes the speaker.

Vas-y, Allez-y

We can use a variation of this phrase to encourage other people to get going, without including ourselves. To do this, we give the command to you, whether using the singular “tu vas” form or the plural “vous allez” form

Note that the imperative “tu” form is normally “va.” Including the “s” at the end is an exception when the command is followed by “y,” in order to give a smoother pronunciation.

Like we saw with Allons-y meaning Let’s go, Vas-y and Allez-y can also be used to encourage others to go somewhere.

  • Je tiens la porte pour vous, madame. Allez-y. – I’m holding the door for you, ma’am. Go ahead.
  • Je vois ton enseignante qui t’attend, Kévin. Vas-y. – I see your teacher waiting for you, Kévin. Go on.
  • J’ai pris ton pion avec mon chévalier. À ton tour. Vas-y. – I took your pawn with my knight. Your turn. Go.

Vas-y and Allez-y are also used even more idiomatically than Allons-y to encourage others to just get moving on whatever they’re facing. They are actually quite common as French interjections. Possible English equivalents include Come on!, Get a move on!, Get going!, Let’s go!, or even You’ve got this!

  • Tu n’as même pas commencé encore !? Mais t’attends quoi ? Vas-y ! – You haven’t even started yet!? What are you waiting for? Get a move on!
  • La brune au bar ne cesse pas de te regarder. Vas-y, mec ! – The brunette at the bar keeps looking at you. Go for it, man!
  • Vous êtes presque à la ligne d’arrivée ! Allez-y ! Allez-y ! Allez-y ! – You’re almost at the finish line! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!

On y va

A synonym for Allons-y! is On y va, which is a slightly more informal way to say Let’s go! in French. The subject pronoun “on” is often used as an informal version of “nous,” with both pronouns meaning “we.” Note that this phrase is not in the command form, and includes a subject (on) and conjugated verb (va). It also includes the pronoun “y”, which has the same function as in the phrase Allons-y.

Because this phrase is slightly more informal, it’s commonly used among friends and acquaintances. Depending on your work or school relationships, you may also be able to use it among colleagues or classmates.

  • Il est 12h30, et le match est à 13h. On y va ! – It’s 12:30 PM, and the game is at 1:00 PM. Let’s go!

Unlike Allons-y, the phrase On y va can be used as either a statement (Let’s go!) or a question (Shall we go?). To make this phrase a question, simply add a question mark at the end, or use rising intonation if speaking.

  • Céline joue au bar ce soir. On y va ? – Céline is performing at the bar tonight. Shall we go?

On s’en va

Another close synonym for Allons-y is On s’en va, which roughly translates to We’re off or We’re leaving. Like On y va, you can use the expression On s’en va in the present indicative as either a statement (We’re leaving) or a question (Shall we leave?).

This phrase uses the verb s’en aller, which means to take one’s leave or simply to leave in French. Like with On y va, this expression uses the pronoun “on” as an informal way to say “we” in French. Thus, this expression is best employed in informal situations.

  • Quelle soirée admirable ! On s’en va, merci pour tout ! – What a great party! We’re leaving, thanks for everything!
  • Je dois me coucher bientôt. On s’en va ? – I need to go to bed soon. Shall we get going?

Va-t-en, Allez-vous-en

Like with Allons-y, we can use “s’en aller” in the command form to tell someone to leave or go away. Be warned, however, that using this expression is very rude in French, much more than it is in English. Vas-t-en is such a strong statement, that it’s a close equivalent to telling someone Fuck off in French!

  • Tu es pénible. Va-t-en ! – I can’t stand you. Fuck off!
  • Vous me gênez. Allez-vous-en ! – You’re all annoying me. Go away!

Note that, grammatically, the imperative va form of the verb doesn’t have the s like it does with “vas-y.” Instead, to facilitate a smoother prounciation, we need to insert a -t- between va and en. This t has no meaning aside from helping with the pronunciation.


Now that we’ve seen the all, here’s a quick recap of our different expressions for saying Let’s go in French:

French expression English equivalent
Allons-y ! Let’s go!, Let’s begin!
Vas-y ! Go! Get going! Go ahead!
Allez-y ! Go! Get going! Go ahead!
On y va ! Let’s go!, Let’s begin!
On y va ? Shall we go?, Shall we begin?
On s’en va. We are leaving.
On s’en va ? Shall we leave?
Va-t-en ! Go away! Fuck off! (very rude)
Allez-vous-en ! Go away! (rude)


There are a few different ways to say Let’s go! in French, all using the verb aller, meaning to go.

The expression Allons-y is the most versatile phrase, as it can be employed in formal or informal situations. In strictly informal situations, more choices are available, such as On y va or On s’en va, as well as Allons-y.

While our main focus was on the different ways to say Let’s go in French, we also saw how to use the same phrases using the command forms without including the speaker. Whereas Vas-y and Allez-y are used to give encouragement, the command forms using s’en aller are considered very rude. Be careful when telling someone Vas-t-en or Allez-vous-en!

Now that you know all about these phrases and how to use them in French, try to use them in your next conversation when you need to start moving a group of people. Allez-y !