FR: sortir - auxiliaire être / avoir

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by hemmer, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. hemmer New Member

    I realize in passe compose the majority of the verbs are conjugated with avoir and then there are the DR MRS VANDERTRAMP verbs that go with etre. Then, a certain number of those DR MRS VANDERTRAMP verbs go with avoir if they have direct objects and stay with etre if they have indirect objects.

    In these examples i understand some but fail to see the others:
    1) Je suis sorti(e) la bibliotheque.
    So, here, i left the library so the verb acts on the subject so it is indirect object.
    2) J'ai sorti les livres de la bibliotheque.
    Here, i left the books at the library so the verb acts on the books so it is direct object.


    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2014
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I wouldn't say that it's an indirect object. Notice that "to leave" [the library] is transitive in English, but sortir is intransitive in French.
    You always use the verb être with intransitive verbs of motion, like sortir, here.

    "I took the books out of the library."
    Here, the verb sortir is used as transitive (you took something from of the library), and it doesn't really mean "to leave/exit", but rather "to remove".

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  3. Pinairun

    Pinairun Senior Member


    Tu as sorti le chien (le chien is a direct object because the verb act on it)
    Le chien a été sorti par toi (passive), le chien est le sujet.
    The dog has been taken out by you (the dog is the subject)

    If you are able to turn the sentence from active voice into passive voice, you must use "avoir".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  4. Berri00 Member

    Lisboa, Portugal
    Actually "sortir" is correct for exiting/leaving a place and doesn't have anything to do with the verb "to remove".

    We don't say "J'ai sorti les livres de la bibliotheque" but "J'ai laissé les livres à la bibliothèque". "De la bibliothèque" means "of the library" and "à la bibliothèque" means "at the library"
    Example: "les livres de la bibliothèque" would be "the books of the library" which in the correct form is translated to "the library's books". Another translation can be "the books from the library" and it depends on the context in which the sentence is said.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  5. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    Let's first clarify the lexicon :
    une bibliothèque can be a library or a bookcase.

    When you say : j'ai sorti les livres de la bibliothèque, I understand that you have taken them out of the bookcase (removed them)...
    If you took books from the library, you'd say : j'ai pris des livres à la bibliothèque.

    Let's consider now your first sentence :
    (1) j'ai sorti les livres de la bibliothèque.
    Can you turn the sentence in the passive voice ? Yes.
    (2) les livres sont sortis de la bibliothèque (par moi)
    ---> les livres are direct object in the (1) (and subject in the (2))
    ---> there is a direct object ---> auxiliary avoir.

    (3) Je suis sorti(e) de la maison.
    Can you turn the sentence in the passive voice ? No.
    There is no direct object ---> auxiliary être.
  6. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    Yes we do!
    And it means "I brought the books out of the library."
  7. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    It may be regional, but I personally wouldn't hesitate to say J'ai sorti des livres de la bibliothèque to mean that I borrowed a few books from the local library. I took them out, and I have to return them by say... 3 weeks.

    I removed the books from the bookshelves, went to the counter and showed my library card to borrow them, then left the library... with the books.
    J'ai sorti les livres des étagères (removed/took out), et après être passée au comptoir, je suis sortie de la bibliothèque (I left/went out) avec les trois livres que j'ai empruntés à /sortis de (borrowed from/took out of) la bibliothèque.

    Edit: On the other hand, j'ai sorti les livres de la bibliothèque would mean to me like itka said. e.g. J'ai sorti les livres de la bibliothèque/vidé la bibliothèque, pour la nettoyer.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  8. Berri00 Member

    Lisboa, Portugal
    Ok.. i didn't know bibliothèque would extented to the bookcase, sorry. But in "i left the books at the library" sortir isn't the right verb as far as i know.
  9. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Berri, when you borrow (i.e., remove) books from the library, some people use the verb sortir. At least, that is what we are debating above.

    This is the grammar forum, so please let's refocus the discussion on the verb sortir and its auxiliary in compound tenses, rather than getting bogged down in a vocabulary discussion about which words to use when you want to say that you borrowed a book from the library. If you really want to discuss borrowing book, we can start a separate thread on the Vocab forum. ;)

    If we need a transitive example of sortir for this thread, we can simply use a different sentence where everyone will agree on the vocabulary. May I suggest something like:

    To take the plates out of the cupboard = Sortir les assiettes du placard
    To take the laundry out of the washing machine = Sortir le linge de la machine

    Thanks! :)

    Member and Moderator
  10. Berri00 Member

    Lisboa, Portugal
    Sure, i was aware of what the debate is about and only correct (wrong apparently) the verb sortir in the 2nd sentence as it seemed to me he made a literal translation of "i left the books at the library". Although we do use "sortir les livres de la bibliòtheque", it has a different meaning of what he wants to say as Outside pointed out well after all.

    That's all.
  11. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Yes, that would be "J'ai laissé les livres à la bibliothèque". I hadn't even noticed Hemmer's translation, to be quite honest.
  12. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    This is of course a generalisation, but I think it is safe to say that in most cases, auxiliary être is used when sortir means to go out of/come out of/leave a place.
    And avoir, when sortir translates to English as take out

    If we take jann's examples, in both cases you'd use "avoir"
    J'ai/tu as/il a... sorti les assiettes du placard/sorti le linge (ou la lessive) de la machine à laver.

    Tu es sorti de la maison sans manteau = You left the house/went out of the house without a coat.
    Il n'est rien sorti de nos recherches = Nothing came out of our research
    Cela m'est sorti de la tête = It went (right) out of my head

    J'ai sorti le chien de la maison / le chapeau de la boîte = I took the dog out of the house / the hat out of the box
    Le chien est sorti par la porte arrière/ le chat est sorti du sac = The dog went out by the back door / the cat came out of the bag
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  13. jemmahunter Senior Member

    English - England
    I am a bit confused whether to use avoir or être in this sentence...

    Michelle est sortie un cube de sa poche
    Michelle a sorti un cube de sa poche...

    which one is correct?

  14. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France

    The second one is right!
  15. Hi,
    generally speaking, both forms are correct.

    But in your case, the correct phrase is "il a sorti un cube de sa poche" given that here the verb "sortir" is transitive thus it has an object, "le cube".

    The verb is conjugated with the auxiliary "etre" (sorry for the lack of accents, I don't have a French keybord) when it is intransitive thus its action is reflected on the subject.

    i.e Je suis sorti de chez-moi pour aller faire les courses.

    Hope it's clearer for you now!
  16. regisbobe Member

    French, France
    You have to say

    elle a sorti un cube de sa poche.

    the other possibility will be:

    elle est sortie, un cube dans sa poche.

    but the meaning is completly different. she went out with a cube in her pocket.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
  17. Kleuna Senior Member

    United States
    United Staes - English and Spanish
    If I wanted to say " the monster came out of the lake", would it be correct to say "Le monstre a sorti du lac" or "Le monstre est sorti du lac" ? What is the difference?

  18. WannaBFluent

    WannaBFluent Senior Member

    le monstre est sorti du lac
  19. fugace Member

    French - France
    Le sens est différent, avec "être" on obtient sens que tu as donné dans ton post. Il me semble qu'en français, pour les verbes de mouvement l'auxiliaire utilisée est généralement "être". Avec "avoir", le sens devient celui de "sortir + complément d'object direct", comme dans "J'ai sorti mon portable de ma poche.". :)
  20. Kleuna Senior Member

    United States
    United Staes - English and Spanish
    Oh, I see. So if I wanted to say "I took the car out" it would be "J'ai sorti la voiture" whereas "I went out with my friends" would be "Je suis sortie avec mes amies".

  21. janpol

    janpol Senior Member

    France - français
    La différence se situe dans le fait que la première phrase est incorrecte et que la seconde est correcte
    Si "sortir" a un COD, il faut utiliser l'auxiliaire "avoir" : il a sorti sa voiture de garage. Il a sorti un top model. Il a sorti son arme de sa poche..
    Une cinquantaine de verbes utilisent "être" ou "avoir" selon la nuance que l'on a voulu introduire : avec "avoir", on insiste sur l'action : le bateau a échoué . Avec "être", on insiste sur le résultat de l'action : le bateau est échoué.
  22. cahill Member

    English -Yorkshire
    " Le professeur avait déjà commencé à parler quand Marc a sorti son cahier " Why is "sortir" conjugated with avoir ? My understanding is that "Mark" is the subject and "cahier" the object. The object comes after the verb.


    I'm doing exercises from a review and practise text book which includes questions involving the pluperfect

  23. Chez Senior Member

    English English
    The verb 'sortir' here means 'to take out' (remove from inside somewhere/something); not 'to go out' (of a room/house).

    The teacher had already started speaking when Marc took out his notebook.

    In this sense, 'sortir' takes avoir.
  24. cahill Member

    English -Yorkshire
    Thanks Chez. Appreciated

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