B- Auxiliary Verbs
In addition to the auxiliary verbs Avoir and Être, used in the perfect tense, there are other verbs that have a similar function before an infinitive. They may be auxiliary of time, of mode, or of aspect.
Aller + Infinitive
To express the immediate future ( le future proche) of the present, future, or past time (imperfect), one uses the verb aller followed by an infinitive. This construction is equivalent to " to be going to".
Je vais lui répondre tout de suite. I am going to answer him right away.
Tu allais lui répondre hier, mais tu ne l'as pas fait. You were going to answer him yesterday, but you did not do it.
Tu n'iras pas m'accuser de négligence! You are not going to accuse me of negligence!
Venir de + Infinitive
To express the immediate past (le passé immediate) of present, furure or past time (Imperfect), one uses venir de before an infinitive. This the equivalent of "to have just".
Ton père vient de rentrer. Your father just came home.
Nous venions d'arriver quand vous avez téléphoné. We had just arrived when you phoned.
Être en train de + Infinitive
To emphasize the duration of an action, one may use être en train de + infinitive. This express the idea of doing something or of being in the process of doing something.
Je suis en train de travailler. I am working.
Elle était en train de faire ses devoirs. She was doing her homework.
Devoir has many meanings, depending on the sense in which it is used.
Ça devrait être bon It ought to be good.
Votre maison doit être belle. Your house must be beautiful.
Je doit être au bureau a neuf heures et demie. I have to be at the office at nine-thirty.
Être sur le point de + Infinitive
This construct expresses the sense of "to be about to", "to be on the verge of".
Il était sur le point de partir. He was about to leave.
Être loin de
This construct is used to express the sense of being far from doing something or being far from being something.
Il est loin d'être bête. He is far from being stupid.
Ce n'est pas pour
Always used in the negative.
Ce n'est pas pour me déplaire. This is not displeasing to me
This verb is used to express the meaning of nearly doing something or for something to nearly happen.
Il a failli mourir He nearly died.
This verb means to let someone do something or to let something happen. You are probably familiar with the expression :"laisser faire".
Laisser-le partir Let him go.
Paraître and Sembler
Le ciel paraît changer de couleur. The sky seems to change color.
Il semble comprendre. He seems to understand.