French to take away

The French Wednesday evening class at the Modern Language School are currently getting their heads round the verb to take, which is no mean feat.

You might know that French can sometimes be a contrary language, so while the English eat their dinner, we French take it (nous prenons le déjeuner). We hardly drink either, it’s all about “prendre un café” or “prendre un verre”. The English have a shower or a bath but the French take that too (je prends ma douche / mon bain).


However, when it comes to taking something or someone somewhere, there is no sign of the verb “prendre” any more. To take something from somewhere is emporter, which you have come across with your holiday “plats à emporter”. To take someone somewhere is emmener, for example “j’emmène mes enfants à l’école”. Emmener is also used for animals as in “j’ai emmené mon chat chez le vétérinaire”.


This works going the other way too. To bring something somewhere is apporter, as in the famous Jacques Brel song “Je vous ai apporté des bonbons”. To bring someone somewhere is amener, for example “Elle va amener sa mère chez nous”. You can also amener an animal as in “on ne peut pas amener son chien dans cet hôtel”.


If this is too much to take in (ingérer, digérer, comprendre, etc.) you might need to apporter your pen and paper to the Modern Language School on Wednesday evening.