The French sentence "On y va" explained

Get prepared to learn all the things you ever wanted to know about the basic phrase “On y va”.

Including a full guide of what it is and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. And because learning a new language is important, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonym and more!

Oh and if you want, on this page you will find more of these phrases explained and the directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Enjoy!

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French to English translation

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does on y va mean?


French people are using “On y va” (Let’s go) when they are on the verge of going somewhere or starting something (typically: a group activity).

It’s composed of “On” (Us), the adverbial pronoun “y” which refers to the place you are going or what you are starting and “va” from the verb “aller” (to go).

Because this is conjugated with “Us” (On) it implies that you are included in the “Us“. If you are not included, because you are not going or not taking part in the activity, use instead “Allez-y“.

How to use

You are waiting for your friends to enter the theater, and a group of people politely ask you if they can pass before you. You answer: “Bien sûr, allez-y” (Sure, go).

Your friends finally arrive, you want to be sure they are all ready, so you ask: “On y va ?” (Let’s go?). Because this time you are included in the group.

They are all ready, then you can say: “On y va.” (Let’s go.)

Also, if you want to be more precise about where you are going or what you are going to do, replace “y” by the place or activity. Ex: “On va au cinéma.” (We are going to the theater.)

Fun facts

If you want to use the slang versions, you have the choice between “Allez !” (Go!), “C’est tipar” (Reversed version of “C’est parti“) or even “C’est parti mon kiki” (literally: “Let’s go my hoo-ha“.)

Synonyms and similarities

Example in a story with slow French audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this sentence in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Faisons un tatouage
Let's get a tattoo
Depuis quelque temps, Emily voulait un tatouage sur son bras.
For some time, Emily wanted a tattoo on her arm.
Elle voulait un tatouage avec le nom de son animal de compagnie : “Bulle”.
She wanted a tattoo with the name of her pet: “Bubble”.
Mais quand elle en a parlé à Philippe, il a dit :
But when she talked to Philippe about it, he said:
Philippe:   Tu sais… c’est toujours risqué, tu risques de le regretter plus tard…
You know… it is always risky, you might regret it later…
Car ce n’était pas la première fois qu’Emily voulait un tatouage ici ou là…
Because it was not the first time that Emily wanted a tattoo here or there…
Et Philippe essayait de l’en empêcher.
And Philippe was trying to stop her.
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