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FR: monter - auxiliaire être / avoir

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by francais_espanol, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. francais_espanol Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Bonjour

    J'ai toujours du mal avec le verbe monter. Je ne sais jamais s'il faut utiliser avoir ou être quand il s'agit du passé.

    Voici deux exemples:

    Est-ce que c'est
    « J'ai monté les escaliers quatre à quatre » OU
    « Je suis monté(e) les escaliers quatre à quatre »?

    Est-ce que c'est
    « Je suis monté(e) dans la voiture » OU
    « J'ai monté dans la voiture »?

    Merci beacoup d'avance de m'éclairer.
     
  2. FRENFR

    FRENFR Senior Member

    Europe
    English
    It can be both. You'll have to search for the past posts since it's endlessly spoken about.

    I won't go on about it here since there's no point :)

    Good luck.
     
  3. francais_espanol Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Thank you FRENFER. I just did a search (maybe I'm doing something wrong) but I didn't find what I was looking for. Could you maybe provide a link to one of the previous posts? Thank you in advance.
     
  4. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  5. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    In two words, when the object of monter is direct (monter l'escalier), the auxilliary is avoir.
    When it's indirect (monter dans la voiture), or when there's no object, the auxilliary is être.
     
  6. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    A mon avis, ce n'est pas exactement ça. Autrement, comment expliquer La température a monté. Les prix ont monté.

    Pour moi, lorsque monter est intransitif, on emploie être pour les actions qui finissent, et avoir pour celles qui peuvent continuer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  7. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Très juste, je n'avais pas pensé à ce cas-là, désolé. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  8. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    C'est le seul cas où ta règle est fausse, tilt ! Lorsqu'il s'agit d'un niveau (prix, température, ou autre...) on emploie l'auxiliaire "avoir".
    Plus de détails ici.
     
  9. arturocc Junior Member

    Orléans
    Spanish
    C'est vrai ce que vous disez mais là, le plix et tout ça ce sont le sujet de la phrase, par contre, les escaliers sont un COD et dans le cas, je suis monté à l'avion, à l'avion est complément circonstanciel. Alors la règle est : avoir lorsqu'il y a COD et être lorsqu'il y a CC.

    […]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  10. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    C'est vrai que j'ai parlé d'objet indirect alors que pensais plutôt complément indirect, ce qui n'est pas la même chose.
    Je voulais en fait souligner la présence de la préposition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  11. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Aux temps composés employés transitivement, monter se conjugue avec avoir ; employés intransitivement, monter traduisant un mouvement se conjugue avec être, traduisant le résultat d'un mouvement, il se conjugue avec avoir : je suis monté dans ma chambre ; cette salade a monté ; le fleuve a monté.

    […]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  12. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    La distinction entre mouvement et résultat de mouvement me paraît plutôt obscure.
    Les phrases Le fleuve a monté et Je suis monté évoquent toutes les deux un mouvement ayant pour effet que leur sujet se trouve plus haut que précédemment. En quoi l'une fait-elle plus référence au résultat que l'autre ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  13. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Oui, je suis d'accord que c'est plutôt obscur, mais je n'ai fait que citer le TLFi

    Quoi qu'il en soit, je dirais qu'il faut plutôt employer l'auxiliaire avoir quand il s'agit d'un niveau ou d'un prix… encore que je pense que dans certains cas on puisse indifféremment utiliser être ou avoir.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  14. tubes Junior Member

    Paris
    UK, English
    Hi,

    I read the following in a French novel: "En courant, nous avons monté les rues qui mènent au Sacré-Coeur." Should it not rather be "nous sommes montés" (two boys)?

    I also saw "les deux types n'auraient pas passé la porte" in the same book. Again, shouldn't it be "les deux types ne seraient pas passés la porte"? Is there some rule that I don't know about which permits these constructions.

    Thanks,

    tubes
     
  15. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Yes, they're used impersonally. (The subjects of these sentences are third party objects, rather than the person the sentence relates to).

    The classic text book example of this is: Je suis sorti avec le chien BUT j'ai sorti le chien.

    Another one off the top of my head: Je suis monté jusqu'au premier étage BUT j'ai monté une société informatique.
     
  16. tubes Junior Member

    Paris
    UK, English
    Ah, thanks. So would I be right in saying that one could say either "Elle est passée par la porte" (or something like that) OR "Elle a passé la porte" without "par"?

    Best,

    tubes
     
  17. Tabac Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest (USA)
    U. S. - English
    It's a question of a transitive verb. If it has an object, use avoir. J'ai descendu la farine du rayon. Je suis descendu au sous-sol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  18. Puellam audiam

    Puellam audiam Senior Member

    Grenoble
    Taiwanese, Mandarin
    Bonjour à tous!


    Est-ce que vous êtes monté en haut de l'Arc de Triomphe?

    La vieille dame a monté lentement les quatre étages.


    Les auxiliaires sont bien utilisés?
     
  19. Missrapunzel

    Missrapunzel Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France)
     
  20. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Ici, "monter" n'a pas d'objet direct, donc, on utilise l'auxiliaire "être"
    Par contre, il y a ici un objet direct qui est "les quatre étages" et on utilise alors l'auxiliaire "avoir".
    (cela serait la même chose pour "descendre" bien sûr :))
     
  21. Tim~!

    Tim~! Senior Member

    Leicester, UK
    UK — English
    Attendez: Si l'on dit "Je suis monté la montagne ce matin", il y a toujours un cas régime. Ou est-ce que l'on devrait donc dire "monté sur la montagne"?
     
  22. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Je suis monté la montagne. :cross:
    Je suis monté sur la montagne. :tick:
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  23. hemmer New Member

    English
    but for this example

    Elles ont monte les paquets.

    The verb is acting on the subject and it is indirect but avoir is used??

    [...]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  24. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    [...]

    The verb is transitive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  25. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    [...]
    They took up the packets. Monter acts as a transitive verb here.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  26. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Careful! :)

    The subject is elles = them (female). The verb is monter = to go up, to take up, to put up.

    What got taken up? The packages got taken up. Not the girls! The verb does not act on the subject elles. It acts on the packages, and so les paquets is the direct object. This means that you are using the verb transitively, and so you must conjugate it with avoir as the auxiliary. --> Elles ont monté les paquets. = They (girls) took the packages up.

    For comparison, consider the sentence "They (girls) went up." What got gone up or taken up? Nothing. All we know is that they went up. So there is no object. The verb is intransitive, so we must use être as an auxiliary --> Elles sont montées.

    Second example. What about "They (girls) went upstairs" or "They (girls) went up the stairs"? This time, what got gone up or taken up? The stairs got gone up. This time, we have a direct object, an it's the stairs. Even though the meaning is very similar to the previous example, this time we are using the verb transitively, and so we need avoir as the auxiliary. --> Elles ont monté l'escalier. = They (girls) went upstairs, went up the stairs.

    Last example. What about "They (girls) got into the car"? In French, we use monter dans for getting into vehicles, so this means we are really saying "They got up into the car." What was gotten up? Nothing. There is no direct object. We do have a little more information. We know where the girls got up ("into the car"). But information about "where?" is not an object of any kind. It is adverbial information. The tip-off is that it is introduced by the preposition dans or "into." So we don't have an indirect object either. The verb has no object at all. It is being used intransitively, so we need être as an auxiliary --> Elles sont montées dans la voiture.

    Does that help? :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  27. hemmer New Member

    English
    i understand the packets example as the packets were the things being taken up.
    however, for the last example how can the stairs be taken up ?
     
  28. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The stairs can be climbed.
     
  29. hemmer New Member

    English
    oooooo i see
    thanks outsider, jann and thomas
    :)
    so everytime i ask to myself what the verb acts on in my head and then if it acts on the subject it is être and if it acts on the object it is avoir?
     
  30. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    I didn't say they were "taken up." I said they were "gone up". :p ;) Perhaps you would prefer to think of monter l'escalier as "to climb the stairs" because then it is very clear that the stairs got climbed.

    And so now you see the essential point. The French verb monter has several possible English translations, as a function of the context: to go up/ascend, to climb up (stairs, etc.), to take up (packages to the second floor), to put (suitcases into the car), to get into (the car, the plane), to mount (the stairs, a horse, etc).

    The intransitive usages are when you don't say what you are going up, or when you are going/getting up into something.

    I think that is a little bit dangerous as a way to think about it, because in the language of grammar, verbs can only ever act on objects. :) The verb doesn't act on the subject. The subject performs the action of the verb. When you say Je suis monté(e) voir ma soeur = "I went up to see my sister" it is not that the verb of going up did something to you. You didn't get gone up by someone else! You did the going up yourself.

    So instead of saying "when the verb acts on the subject" :cross: I think it would be better to say "when the verb doesn't act on anything" :tick: then you know it is intransitive. And if it is one of the Dr. Mrs. Vandertrampp verbs, this means you will use être as the auxiliary.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  31. pocky_bot New Member

    Vietnamese & English
    I understand that there are direct and indirect objects in French. Unfortunately, I am having difficulty deciphering whether or not I should use avoir or etre. How can I know whether or not I should say: Je suis monte or J'ai monte? How do I know whether something is direct or indirect?
     
  32. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    Welcome to the forum, Pocky Bot! :D

    You're in the right place! Read [this thread] first, then come back if you still have questions. :)
    (As a general rule of thumb, there's no preposition before a direct object; e.g. I climbed the stairs.)

    P.S. - People on this forum usually use accent marks. I believe there's a "sticky" with instructions at the top of the forum threads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  33. foible New Member

    English
    I know this is an old chestnut much discussed, but I have never seen discussed how to distinguish in French:

    I climbed the stairs
    vs.
    I put up/erected the stairs

    Or similarly

    I climbed the Eifel Tower
    vs.
    I erected the Eifel Tower

    I have assumed the first would be ''Je suis monté à....'', whilst the second would be ''J'ai monté....''

    However ''J'ai monté l'escalier'' seems to be generally accepted for ''I climbed the stairs'', so I'm unsure.
    Of course you could use a different verb to be clear about the second meaning ''assembled/constructed/erected'' to avoid the problem, but in the context of my question that would be like the answer to the old Irish/Belgian joke (Q - Could you tell me the way to London? A - Ah well, you wouldn't start from here.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  34. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    Alsace, France
    French - France, ♀
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  35. Michelvar

    Michelvar quasimodo

    Marseille - France
    French-France
    Hi,

    You know, there are a lot of ambiguous or multi-meanings words / expressions / sentences, they are widely used by humorists. That's why we (in this forum) insist on having some context before translating, disambiguation is always a matter of context.
     
  36. foible New Member

    English
    Indeed
    So perhaps if I rephrase my question.

    Is the following ambiguous, and how would/could it be translated?

    ''M Gustave Eiffel à monté la Tour Eiffel''

    Can it mean one/other/both/neither of:

    Mr Gustave Eiffel climbed the Eiffel Tower
    Mr Gustave Eiffel erected the Eiffel Tower

    And is ''M Gustave Eiffel est monté à la Tour Eiffel'' simply poor French, or would it fix the meaning unambiguously on ''Mr Gustave Eiffel climbed the Eiffel Tower''?

    The origin of my question; as always we are taught at school in England that ''monter takes être'', without any further discussion. Clearly the truth is more complicated, and I am aware of lots of other discussions on the point. I was trying to give my son an example to make him think a bit deeper, without going into linguistic academic jargon which he will not relate to. Ambiguous sentences are a great way of capturing the imagination of young learners since they inherently tickle the brain in a way that no discussion of indirect objects ever can.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  37. Michelvar

    Michelvar quasimodo

    Marseille - France
    French-France
     
  38. foible New Member

    English
    Thanks for you reply. I guess for my son, maybe the simplest advice is that if there is a preposition after monté, then likely he needs to conjugate with être. I know it's not foolproof...

    So, "est monté à la Tour Eiffel" means that he was in a deep place, let say a technical room under the Eiffel Tower, and he went up to the Eiffel Tower.
    Thanks for that, very helpful. I guess then ''il est monté à'' is much like the English ''he climbed/went up to''.
     
  39. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Please just note that the set phrase is
    "monter l'escalier", not "monter à l'escalier".
    So you should say:
    "J'ai monté l'escalier".
    And not:
    "Je suis monté à l'escalier".
     
  40. alexoida New Member

    romanian
    Bonsoir,

    Alors... j'utilise à l'école avec mes élèves les exemples suivants

    J'ai monté l'éscalier. Dans ce cas, on utilise l'auxiliaire AVOIR car on a un C.O.D après le verbe, l'escalier.
    Je suis monté dans le train. Dans ce cas-ci, c'est l'auxiliaire ÊTRE car on a après le verbe un complément circonstanciel de lieu...où est-ce que je suis monté? dans le train
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013

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