Dear John,
Do you know a good way to learn the difference between amener/emmener and apporter/emporter?

I’m studying it in class right now and I’m still having a little bit of trouble understanding when to use which.

The general rule is that the verbs starting with an “a” are for people and the ones starting with “e” are for objects.

Okay so the tough part:

Amener & Emmener

Amener and emmener both are generally translated as “to bring.” The idea being that you’re taking friends or items from point A (your house for instance) to point B. So the main point here is the “men” verbs focus on people.

Je peux amener mes potes?
Can I bring my friends? Are my friends invited?

When you use the verb emmener, you mean that you want to accompany somebody to someplace. Emmener also has the meaning of leading or carry a group of people (i.e, the coach lead his team to victory).

Apporter & Emporter

The other two are generally translated meaning to take objects with you. Now you can technically “bring” something back to your house, but in a sense it’s more so that you’ve traveled to point B and now you’re taking something back to A.

The easiest way to remember this? When you want to take food out, you’ll always see signs that say “emporter.” Usually “pizza à emporter” or “des plats à emporter” in fact, emporter is probably the one you’ll encounter the most in general French speech because of this.

I hope this helped cleared up a bit of the confusion :)

John Elkhoury

Founder, FrenchCrazy

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