Quiz: Amener, Apporter, Emmener, Emporter

Pop quiz! How much did you absorb from our post on the French “bring / take” verbs: amener, apporter, emmener and emporter?

Think you’ve got it? Well, here’s a chance to test your knowledge.

Review the post, then take the quiz below. If you have any questions about this quiz or about these verbs, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments below.

Ready…? Allez!

 

  1. J’_______ mon fils à son cours de violon à 8h. Mon mari ira le chercher à 9h.

a) emmène

b) apporte

c) amène

 

  1. Chaque dimanche, Jacques ­­­­­­­­_______ le petit déjeuner au lit à sa femme.

a) apporte

b) emmène

c) emporte

 

  1. Françoise ________ nos enfants à Disneyland demain; je crois qu’elle-même adore les attractions !

a) amènera

b) emmènera

c) emportera

 

  1. “S’il te plaît, _____-moi l’éponge à côté de l’évier. J’ai renversé un verre d’eau.”

a) emmène

b) emporte

c) apporte

 

  1. Quand vous préparez votre voyage de ski, n’oubliez pas ________ de la crème solaire. Même en février il peut y avoir beaucoup de soleil!

a) apporter

b) emporter

c) amener

 

  1. _____-vous quelqu’un au pique-nique ce samedi?

a) Amenez

b) Apportez

c) Emmenez

 

      7.  Non, nous ne pouvons pas être là avant 17h. Nous _______ notre voiture de location au garage.

 a)rapportons

b) ramenons

c) remmenons

 

      8.  Ils ______ leur chat avec eux quand ils nous rendent visite.

a) apportent

b) emmènent

c) amènent

 

     9.  “Peux-tu _____ Marie chez elle? Elle habite dans ton quartier.”

a) amener

b) ramener

c) remmener

 

 10.  Alice, n’oublie pas de______ ton livre quand tu pars. Merci de l’avoir prêté!

a) emmener

b) apporter

c) emporter

 

Answers:

 1) c 2) a 3) b 4) c 5) b 6) a 7) b 8) b 9) a 10) c

 

Any questions? Ask us below or call us for a private French lesson!

 

 


On y va! French Beach Vocabulary

These days in Paris, we’re experiencing une canicule (a heatwave). If you weren’t already thinking of heading à la plage (to the beach) for a refreshing getaway, you probably are now!

France has thousands of lovely beaches, from the sweeping golden shores found on the Atlantic Coast in places such as Bretagne (Brittany), Normandie (Normandy) and Biarritz, to the hidden coves and sparkling turquoise waters of la Mediterranée (the Mediterranean) in the South of France. The stunning island of Corse (Corsica) also offers extraordinary white sand beaches, and you’ll find amazing, plages sauvages (wild/unspoiled beaches) in the Poitou-Charente region.

If you’re really desperate for some sand-time but can’t leave Paris, there’s always Paris plage, an artificial beach created for one month every summer in the city center. This beach, which runs along the Seine, has several tons of imported sable (sand), chaises longues (beach chairs) and palmiers (palm trees), ice-cream stands, live music, and plenty of other activities. Although you’re not going to think yourself swept away to a beach in Cannes, it’s definitely worth a visit.

 French Beach Attire

If you’re going to French beach for the first time, you should there are a few things you should know – mainly about attire. Depending on where you are from, it may surprise you to see men of every age wearing tiny Speedos, and women of every age wearing tiny bikinis, and small children wearing nothing at all. In France, the body isn’t something to be hidden away in shame. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear as little as possible.

Which brings me to plages naturistes (nude beaches). You may have heard about France’s nude beaches, and it’s true that they are plentiful here. But that doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable for adults to run around tout nu (fully naked) any beach they choose. If you want to get naked on a beach, here a few tips:

  1. Research French nude beaches first. With a little Googling, it’s easy enough to find plages naturistes in any region.
  1. Observe the locals. If you’re not sure whether it’s socially acceptable to go full monty or topless, watch what the locals do. If you don’t see it, don’t do it. As a foreigner, you shouldn’t be the one to try to change the local custom.
  1. Don’t be rude. Taking pictures, staring, pointing or speaking loudly about nude beach-goers is a gross breach of etiquette. If you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a nude beach or upon the random naturiste / nudiste (nudist) and it makes you feel awkward or offended, simply go elsewhere.

 

French Beach Vocabulary

And now, here are some beach words that may come in handy during your vacances balnéaires (beach vacation).

 La sable – the sand

Les lunettes de soleil – the sunglasses

La serviette de plage – the beach towel

 

Le parasol –beach umbrella

La crème solaire – the sunscreen

Le maillot de bain – the swimsuit

Coup de soleil – sunburn

 

Le château de sable – the sandcastle

La pelle – the shovel

Le râteau – the rake

Le seau – the bucket

 

L’eau – the water

La vague – the wave

Le courant – the current

La marée haute –high tide

La marée basse –low tide

 

Un poisson – a fish

Une étoile de mer – a starfish

Une algue – algae

Un coquillage – a seashell

Une mouette (a seagulls)

 

A few useful verbs

Nager – to swim

Plonger – to dive

Prendre un bain de soleil – to sunbathe

Faire un pique-nique – to have a picnic

Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle

 

Will you be going to a French beach this summer? Where will you go? Share with us below!


Verb Spotlight: Amener, Apporter, Emmener, Emporter

In this month’s verb spotlight, we’re going to focus on the French “bring / take” verbs. It’s no surprise that these verbs – amener, emmener, apporter and emporter – can prove troublesome for Anglophones as there are very subtle distinctions between them and none has a direct translation into English.

In French, the correct use of a “take/bring” verb depends on two or three factors:

  • the nature of object being brought or taken
  • how the object will be brought or taken, and (sometimes)
  • whether the speaker will leave or stay with the object at the destination.

Let’s take a closer look at each verb:

AMENER

Definition: To bring.

What? A person, animal or any object capable of movement on its own.

How? The person or object is driven, guided or led, not carried.

What next? The person or object is left at the destination without the speaker.

The verb amener is based on the verb “mener” which means to lead. So when you use this verb, imagine leading a person, animal or mobile object to a certain destination and then leaving them there.

Examples:

J’amène mon fils à l’école = I bring my son to school.

Amènes ta petite amie chez nous = Bring your girlfriend to our place (Drop off your girlfriend at our place).

• Si Marie avait les temps, elle aurait amené sa voiture au garage avant de partir. =

If Marie had the time, she would have brought her car to the garage before leaving.

BUT: Naturally, this being the French language, there’s an exception to the ‘leaving the object at the destination’ rule. Amener is also appropriate to use in circumstances when you’re bringing someone along. So:

• Est-ce que tu l’ameneras à dîner demain? Are you bringing her to dinner tomorrow?

EMMENER

Definition: To take

What: a person, animal or any object capable of movement on its own.

How: The person or object is driven, guided or led, not carried.

What next: The speaker stays with the object at the destination.

 Emmener is also rooted in the verb “mener.” So this verb is appropriate if you’ve led, driven or physically guided someone/something to a destination. But this one is only appropriate if you plan on staying with the person upon arrival.

Examples:

  • Aimerais-tu que je t’emmène dîner? = Would you like me to take you out for dinner?
  • Emmène-moi avec toi! = Take me with you!
  • Il emmène son chien au parc chaque samedi matin. He takes his dog to the park every Saturday morning.

 

APPORTER

Definition: To bring, to take

What: An object that’s incapable of going anywhere on its own

How: By carrying it.

Apporter is rooted in the verb “porter,” which means to carry. The prefix “a-“ signifies that something is being physically carried to another place. For example:

  • Qu’est que vous apportez au pique-nique? = What are you bringing to the picnic?
  • Peux-tu m’apporter une tasse de thé? = Can you bring a cup of tea?
  • Ils apportaient leurs livres à l’école chaque jour. = They brought their books to school every day.

BUT: In a few circumstances, it’s acceptable to use amener although apporter is the technically correct verb. For example when invited to a dinner, it wouldn’t be unusual to ask:

Qu’est-ce que je devrais amener? or Qu’est-ce que j’amène? (What should I bring?) instead of “Qu’est-ce que je devrais apporter?”

EMPORTER

Definition: To take away (with you)

What: An object incapable of going anywhere on its own

How: By carrying it.

 Again, we’ve got the base verb “porter” which indicates that something is being carried. In this case, however, the emphasis is on the fact that the object is going away with you, as opposed to that you’re taking it to somewhere else.

You may find it helpful to remember that “emporter” is the French equivalent of the term “take out” or “take-away,” with respect to meals taken from a restaurant.

Examples:

• J’ai emporté mon parapluie ce matin mais il n’a pas plu. I took my umbrella (with me) this morning but it didn’t rain.

• Emporte ces papiers. Take away those papers.

• Tu emportes toujours un livre. = You always take along a book.

• Repas à emporter . = Take-away food.

Note that the reflexive form of the verb is an expression: 

S’emporter: Marie s’est emportée = Marie lost her temper.

If you’re still confused or have further questions, drop us a line below or contact us! We’re ready to help you learn the French that you really need.


7 Verbs that Have No Direct Translation in French

When you imagine a word that has no direct translation into another language, it’s easy to imagine the existence of some exotic, complex word.

For example, take the French verb “entarter.” This means, “to hit someone in the face with a pie”. Somehow that seems like exactly the kind of word that would have no direct translation into English (or possibly any other language).  

But how about the verb “to kick?” “To hug”?

Seemingly basic English verbs such as these have no direct counterpart in French. The concept exists in French, of course, but there is no single French verb that covers the meaning in the same way as in English.

Because there’s no single word equivalent of these verbs, their French meanings sometimes don’t appear on standard vocabulary lists. In fact, you might not realize you can’t express these concepts until you’re halted mid-tracks in your conversation, racking your brains for a word that you feel must exist, but doesn’t.

To save you the trouble, here are 7 commonly used English verbs that have no direct equivalent in French – and the French phrases you need to express them properly.

 

  1. To kick = “donner un coup de pied.” (to make a blow with the foot).

Example: Je n’aime pas Marc. Il donne des coups de pied à son chien.

 I don’t like Marc. He kicks his dog.

 

  1. To drop (something) = “laisser tomber.” (to let something fall)

Example: Ne laissez pas tomber cette vase! Elle est très chère!

Don’t drop that vase! It’s very expensive.

 Note: A drop in value translates to “baisser” (lower) “diminuer” (diminish) or “chuter” (plunge).

 

  1. To hug = “prendre quelqu’un dans ses bras” or “serrer dans ses bras

 Example: Après son retour de l’étranger, il a serré sa petite amie dans ses bras étroitement.

After returning from abroad, he hugged his girlfriend tightly.

 Note: Many people think that “calîner” (calîn, noun) is the equivalent of to hug, but it’s actually “to cuddle.” Embrasser is also often mistakenly believed to be the translation of “to hug” but it means “to kiss.”

 While there’s no single word for the verb “to hug,” as a noun, “a hug” is translated as “accolade.” (e.g. Après son retour de l’etranger, il a donné une accolade à sa petite amie = after his return from abroad, he gave his girlfriend a hug.)

 As hugging is not the cultural norm in France, “hug” as a verb or noun isn’t frequently employed.

 

  1. To hurt = “faire mal” (to make bad)

 Faire mal is used to indicate when someone has hurt you emotionally or physically.

 Example 1: Il me fait mal quand je déplace mon bras comme ça.

 It hurts when I move my arm like this.

 Example 2: Ça m’a fait mal quand elle a cessé de me parler.

It hurt me when she stopped speaking to me.

 Note: If you want to say that someone caused you a physical wound or injury then use the verbs “blesser” or “injurer.”

 

  1. To trust = faire confiance / avoir confiance (to make/ have confidence)

 Faire confiance and avoir confiance are used to express your confidence in a person.

Faire confiance usually requires use of the preposition “à”, while avoir confiance requires use of the preposition “en”.

Example 1:     Je fais confiance à mon copain

                         I trust my friend.

Example 2:    Je te fais confiance

                         I trust you.

Example 3:    Ils ont confiance en toi

                        They trust you. / They have confidence in you.

 Note: When you want to express trust of something that’s not a person, you’d use the verb phrase: “pouvoir compter sur” (“to be able to count on”)

 Paul peut compter sur sa voiture même si elle est très vieille.

Paul can trust his car even though it’s very old.

 

  1. To retire = prendre sa retraite (to take one’s retirement)

 

Example:        Elle n’a que 50 ans mais elle a déjà pris sa retraite.

                         She’s only 50 but she’s already retired.

 

  1. To care = various French verbs, depending on your intended meaning.

 There’s no single word in French that covers all the various meaning that “to care” does in English. You have to learn the right verb or verb phrase in the right context to express yourself properly.

To care about someone = avoir de l’affection (pour quelqu’un)

 Example:        Elle n’est pas amoureuse de lui mais elle a de l’affection pour lui.

                           She isn’t in love with him but she cares for him.

To take care of someone = prendre soin de qulequ’un

Example:        Quand Marie était dans l’hôpital Paul a pris soin de ses enfants.

                         When Marie was in the hospital Paul took care of her children.

 To care about a cause = se sentir concerné

Example: Si vous vous sentez concerné par les baleines, vous ferez un don à la cause.

                   If you care about whales, you will donate to the cause.

 

Can you think of any other verbs that have no direct translation? Share them below!

 

 

 


Retourner, Revenir, Rentrer: What’s the Difference?

Some French verbs are more complicated than others for Anglophones, most especially those that don’t have an exact counterpart in English. Such is the case with the verbs retourner, revenir and rentrer.

Many English speakers assume these three verbs translate as “to return” “to come back” and “to re-enter” respectively, and can be used interchangeably. But, alas, in French that’s not the case.

While each of these French verbs do generally indicate someone going back to a place, they must each be used in a specific – and different – set of circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look:

RETOURNER         

Meaning #1: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not)

Meaning #2: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not) for a short time.

Meaning #3: To return something (to give back)

As the definitions above indicate, “retourner” is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is not.

Example #1: Ma mere adorait Rome. Elle voudrait y retourner l’année prochaine.

My mother adored Rome.  She would like to return there next year.

Example #2: Paul était sur le point de nous retrouver, mais il avait oublié son porte-monnaie à la boulangerie.  Il y est donc retourné le chercher pour nous rejoindre après.

 Paul was about to meet us but he forgot his wallet at the bakery. So he’s going to go back there to look for it and meet us afterwards.

 Example #3: Tout article non retourné sera facturé

Any missing items will be charged

REVENIR

Meaning: To come back (to the place where the speaker is).

Revenir is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is currently.

 Example #1: Où est Marie? Elle est partie. Mais elle a dit qu’elle reviendrait plus tard

Where is Marie? She left. But she says she’ll come back (here) later.

Example #2: “Zut ! Je dois retourner au bureau car j’y ai laissé mes clés! Je reviens tout de suite!”

Darn it! I have to return to my office because I left my keys there. I’ll come right back (here)!

RENTRER

 Meaning: “to return home” — no matter whether “home” is your country or your abode.

 Example #1: Cette fête est géniale mais je suis fatiguée. Je rentre à la maison.

 This party is great but I’m tired. I’m going (returning) home.

Example #2François habite en Espagne depuis 7 ans mais il rentrera en France en septembre.

 François lived in Spain for seven years but in September he’s going to return to France.

 

Do you need additional help distinguishing between retourner, revenir and retourner? Leave your questions below and we’ll get back to you!