amener, emmener, apporter, emporter
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The English verbs "to bring" and "to take" have four French equivalents: amener, emmener, apporter, and emporter. This causes all kinds of confusion, but it really is very simple once you understand the differences.
- Apporter is only for inanimate things you can carry.
- Amener is for people, animals, and vehicles.
|J’ai apporté mon livre au parc.||I brought my book to the park.|
|J’ai amené mon frère au parc.||I brought my brother to the park.|
- Emporter is only for inanimate things you can carry.
- Emmener is for people, animals, or vehicles.
|J’ai emporté mon livre parc.||I took my book to the park.|
|J’ai emmené mon frère au parc.||I took my brother to the park.|
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 between all four verbs, but it may not be required, as French speakers often use only amener. C’est la vie, eh? 🙂
To take back, to take again / To bring back, to bring again
There are four related French verbs: ramener, remmener, rapporter, 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 prefix r–, which 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 rapporté le livre.||I brought the book back (or again).|
|J’ai remporté les biens volés.||I took the stolen goods back.|
|J’ai ramené Michel chez moi.||I brought Michel back to my house.|
|J’ai remmené l’étudiante à ses parents.||I took the student back to her parents.|
LKL’s Top Secret Tips!
Here are my simple tricks for remembering which verb is which:
- The verbs with -men- within the word (amener, emmener, etc) are the ones that have to be used with people (sorry feminists :-), animals, and vehicles. The ones with -port- are used with portable objects.
- The ones that start with e- (or re-) mean take, because "take" has an e and "bring" doesn’t.
|Stem-changing verbs||Regular -er verbs|