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French grammar review – differences between “Amener, Emmener, Apporter, Emporter” (Levels A-B)


The English verbs to bring and to take have four French equivalents: ameneremmener,apporter, and emporter. This causes all kinds of confusion, but it really is very simple once you understand the differences.

To bring

The French verbs apporter and amener are used to indicate that you are bringing someone/something with you to the place where you are.

Apporter can only be used with things you can carry, whereas amener has to be used with peopleanimals, and vehicles.

J’ai amené mon frère à la fête. I brought my brother to the party.
J’ai apporté mon livre à la fête. I brought my book to the party.

To take

Emporter and emmener are used to mean that you are taking someone/something to a different place than you are right now.

Emporter is for things you can carry, while emmener is for peopleanimals, or vehicles.

J’ai emmené mon frère à la fête. I took my brother to the party.
J’ai emporté mon livre à la fête. I took my book to the party.

 

Summary

portable object person-animal-vehicle
to bring apporter amener
to take emporter emmener

 

Note

Despite the actual variations in meaning, amener tends to be used for all of the above in colloquial French. In other words, it’s a good idea to understand the difference, but it may not be required, as French speakers may use only amener.

 

To Take/Bring Back/Again

There are four related French verbs: ramenerremmenerrapporter, and remporter. which mean to take back/again or to bring back/again. Note that these are the exact same verbs with the addition of the letter r at the beginning. The r simply adds the meaning again or back  to the verb. The nuance of people/animals/vehicles vs portable things remains exactly the same.

J’ai ramené Luc chez moi. I brought Luc back to my house.
J’ai rapporté le livre. I brought the book back (or again).
Il a remmené la fille à ses parents. He took the girl back to her parents.
Il a remporté les biens volés. He took the stolen goods back.

Note: Rapporter  also means ‘to return’

 

Exercise

Fill up the empty fields with the appropriate verb (Amener, Emmener, Apporter, Emporter, Ramener, Remmener, Rapporter, Remporter)

  1. Pierre veut __________ son chien. (bring)
  2. Nous devons __________ ces stylos au bureau. (take back)
  3. N’oubliez pas de __________ les livres de bibliothèque. (take back)
  4. Est-ce qu’il va __________ Chantal à la plage ? (bring)
  5. Je ne peux pas vous __________ Pierre au cinema. (bring)
  6. Allez-vous __________ un plan ? (bring)
  7. Nous ne voudrions pas __________ un appareil-photo. (take)
  8. Tu dois nous __________ des pommes. (bring)
  9. Maman, je vais t’__________ au marché demain. (take)
  10. Il faut __________ le dictionnaire après le cours. (bring back)
  11. Tu peux __________ ta fille la prochaine fois. (bring again/back)
  12. Je voudrais __________ les chats la semaine prochaine. (bring again/back)
  13. Je viens de __________ le bébé chez le docteur. (take back)
  14. Vous devriez __________ seulement une valise. (take)
  15. Hélène, vas-tu __________ ta voiture à Paris ? (take)
  16. Il va __________ quelque chose à manger. (take)
  17. Peux-tu __________ la voiture après le film ? (bring back)

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