Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 22:28:00 -0500


Subject: 'going to'

I've been meaning to write and thank you for your kind correction to my

French grammar, but I wanted to try to figure out first why I wrote what I

wrote (i.e., "Je vais a' laver mes chats" and "Je vais a' me laver les

mains," neither of which should have "a'"). Obviously, interference from

English "I am going to wash my hands," etc., would lead the native speaker of

English to assume that French also had the 'to' morpheme. However, I learned

my French entirely from books, so I suspect that at least at one time I knew

that in French one says "Je vais + INF" and not *"Je vais a' +INF". I think

that what happened is that Spanish interferred--in Spanish one says, "Voy a

estudiar"; I learned what Spanish I know years AFTER I learned French. I

believe that the Spanish interferred more than the English!