Do you know the difference between APPORTER – EMPORTER – AMENER – EMMENER?
These verbs are quite similar but they do have different meanings.
They are often misused and even the French tend to make mistakes when using those verbs!
First of all, have in mind that MENER in French means: “to lead, to conduct, to show the way” and PORTER means: “to carry”.
Therefore, you use AMENER and EMMENER for persons, animals and things that can move by themselves,
and APPORTER and EMPORTER for things that you can carry.
Note that for a car, since you can’t carry it, you have to use AMENER or EMMENER.
J’amène ma voiture chez le garagiste.
However, the French tend more and more to use EMMENER and AMENER for things that you can carry.
You might therefore hear: “Tu as pensé à emmener des lunettes de soleil ?”
This is not correct though. One should say: “Tu as pensé à emporter des lunettes de soleil ?”
Secondly, remember that the prefix A- puts the focus on destination and EM- puts the focus on departure point.
Do you understand the difference between:
Je porte un parapluie. (I’m carrying an umbrella.)
J’apporte un parapluie. (I’m bringing an umbrella.)
J’emporte un parapluie. (I’m taking an umbrella with me.)
Here’re some infographics to help you understand:
Read also : Conjugation of -ER verbs