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Amener, Emmener, Apporter, Emporter,

Rapporter... To Bring and To Take in


French
August 2, 2011 | By Camille Chevalier-Karfis | 24 Comments

These French verbs are confusing for English speakers because they cannot be translated
from their English counterpart: to bring and to take. You have to understand the meanings of
"porter" and "mener" and the prefixes "a" and "em."
1 Porter mener : things people/animals
The verb porter means to carry, so its used with inanimate objects.
Je porte ma valise I carry my suitcase.
Jemporte mon parapluie en voyage Im taking my umbrella on my trip.
Japporte une bouteille chez mon ami Im bringing a bottle to my friends house.
The verb mener means to lead, so its used with animate beings: people and animals.
Napolon mne ses armes Napoleon leads his armies.
Jemmne mon bb au restaurant Im bringing my infant to the restaurant.
Jamne ma fille lcole Im taking my daughter to school.
2 To leave at a destination or to stay with = the prefixes A and Em
Then, the question to ask is whether you are accompanying, staying with the person, or
keeping the thing with you, OR if you are just dropping it/him/her, leaving it/him/her at
destination.
The prefix A in French means that you are going to leave the thing/person there.
This is the idea behind amener and apporter.
The prefix Em in French means you are staying with the thing/person. This is the
idea behind emmener and emporter.
3 Contrast
Jemporte mon parapluie en voyage Im taking my umbrella on my trip. (Its a thing
and its staying with me)
Jemmne mon bb au restaurant Im taking my infant to the restaurant. (He/she is
a person and I am staying with him/her)
Japporte une bouteille chez mon ami Im bringing a bottle to my friends house .
(Its a thing and Im leaving it there)
Jamne ma fille lcole Im taking my daughter to school. (Shes a person and I
am dropping her there)
4 Remark
Unfortunately, just like in English with bring and take, you will hear many mistakes
amener, emmener tend to be used more and more for people (as they should) AND things.
5 More expressions
Remporter to win a competition.
Il a remport la finale. He won the final match.
Rapporter to bring something back, to return something.
Je dois rapporter le livre la bibliothque. I have to return the book at the library.
La nourriture emporter take-out food
Il vend des pizzas emporter. He sells take-out pizzas.
Ramener to take someone to their home/hotel, to give someone a ride home.
Tu veux que je te ramne ? Would you like me to give you a ride home?
Porter to wear +clothing.
Je porte une jupe. I am wearing a skirt.
Tu tamnes ? slang Are you coming?
On se casse, tu tamnes ? Were leaving, are you coming with us?