Intermediate #42 French motion verbs with prepositions

Intermediate #42 French motion verbs with prepositions

Learn how to use motion verbs in French and which auxiliary to choose depending on the meaning of the verb my friend.

When places are used with verbs of motion, they are always introduced by a PREPOSITION such as à, de, en, dans, par (by, through), pour, chez, etc.

Elle est entrée dans le bureau.

She entered the office.

Nous sommes rentrés chez nous très tard.

We returned home very late.

When followed directly by a NOUN, some of the verbs usually used with auxiliary to be/être now describe an ACTION rather than a motion. In this case, the passé composé is conjugated with avoir.

passer par + a place with auxiliary to be

Nous sommes passés par Paris pour aller à Lille.

We went through Paris to go to Lille.

passer + a noun with auxiliary to have – action is passer des vacances

Nous avons passé un mois en vacances en Grèce.

We spent a month on vacation in Greece.

monter + place with auxiliary to be

Ils sont montés dans le bateau à 14 heures.

They got on the boat at 2 p.m.

monter + noun with auxiliary to have – action is monter une valise

Elle a monté sa valise toute seule.

She lifted her suitcase on her own.

descendre + place with auxiliary to be

Ils sont descendus à la station Time Square.

They got off at Time Square station.

descendre + noun with auxiliary to have – action is descendre les bagages

L’employé de l’hôtel a descendu les bagages des clients.

The hotel clerk took the customers’ luggage down.

Published by Claire SAMUEL

My name is Claire and my mission is to teach you French with a smile my friend!

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