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Need help distinguishing between Amener, Emmener, Apporter, Emporter, Rapporter






Can someone please explain the difference between these, and give examples of how and when to use them, and it what context I should use them.

Aug 9, 2016 1:06 PM
Comments · 7

Salut, je suis française :)

"Rapporter" c'est quand tu re-donnes quelque chose à quelqu'un (it's "give back" I think in english)

Pour "amener" et "emmener", je ne crois pas qu'il y est de grosse différence...

"Emporter" est plus utilisé quand tu prends quelque chose pour t'en servir à un autre endroit. Comme "plat à emporter" (like "food to go").

Et "apporter" est plus utilisé pour emmener quelque chose puis le partager avec d'autres personnes.

Mais il n'y a pas beaucoup de différence entre tous ces mots, si tu en utilises un au lieu d'un autre, un français pourra comprendre, ne t'inquiètes pas :)

J'espère t'avoir aidée :)

August 9, 2016

This question comes up quite often. This is how it was explained to me:


1. The root of the verbs:

'Mener' means to 'lead' and 'porter' means to 'carry'.

So you generally use emporter, apporter and rapporter for things that you can carry.

And you use emmener, amener and ramener for things that you can't carry - like people or very large objects (eg cars).


2. The suffixes a-, e-,

The verbs beginning with 'a' tend to be used when you take someone or something to a place that you aren't going to yourself.  For example, a teenager might say to her mum 'Tu peux m'amener à la fête?' meaning 'Can you take me to the party?' in the sense of giving her a lift/dropping her at the party.


The verbs beginning with 'e' tend to be used when you bring someone or something along with you. For example, you might say 'Michel a emmené sa nouvelle petite amie à la fête' to mean that Michael brought his girlfriend along to the party that he was going to anyway, and he stayed there with her.


Likewise, apporter means bring something along with you (as in bringing a gift to the party) and emporter means take something away with you (as in buying a take-away meal and leaving the restaurant with it).


3.  The suffix r

This is an easy one. It means 'back', as in rapporter (bring back).


This is my understanding, anyway. If there's any bilingual person who thinks this is wrong, please correct me!




August 9, 2016
Agree with Adam. The same thing is happening in English. In a more formal environment you might want to use less ambiguous language (situational differences in speech registers).
August 11, 2016

J'évite de re-dire ce qui a déjà été dit .... mais il faut noter qu'il s'agit parfois d'une question de registre. C'est à dire qu'en français courant les verbes à base de "porter" et "mener" connaissent une confusion générale, notamment "apporter" et "amener." Alors que ce dernier est censé avoir pour COD une personne ("Je vais amener mon pote Charles samedi) le mot "apporter" renvoie en général à un objet ("N'oublie pas d'apporter du vin.") En revanche cette distinction est en train de s'effacer. 

August 11, 2016

I never had much trouble with these verbs by using the same tip that I'd give to someone learning English:  Learn what they mean, but pick a pair and run with it.  You'll be understood if you say "I am bringing my son to the dentist." instead of "I am taking my son to the dentist."

"Rapporter" is a third one you will have to learn to express those ideas in french with concision.

I chose "Amener" and "Emmener" because they only have word-final /R/ consonants (silent is "for the win" when it comes to that French sound).

You will want to understand all of them, so eventually you will have to deal with verb pairs like this.  French is no different than English (or any other language) when it comes to "redundant verbs."

August 10, 2016
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