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A descendu question.

LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

A descendu question.

To go, come, climb down something. I don’t understand why a descendu doesn’t work for Jack climbing down the giant. The lesson seems to allow for it. Very confusing but not a phrase I’m likely to be using! 

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Jack est descendu du géant -- He got off (as in took the last step down from) the giant.
Jack a descendu le géant. -- Jack took the giant down. Note, that this sentence also has a double meaning in English as it does in French. It can mean to take it down to the basement (not very likely with a giant, though). Or it could mean that he killed the giant. Additionally, in French it could also (theoretically) mean that he climbed down along the giant, i.e., using the giant as a ladder.

Jack a descendu les escaliers. -- Jack came down the stairs. (Not likely that he killed the stairs or took the stairs down into the basement).

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

There's been numerous questions and answers on this very topic. Check the Q&A section at the end of the lesson. Your question will likely find an answer there.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Liz,

I also found this very tricky. If you want to say "Jack climbed down the giant" I believe that you would need to write " Jack est descendu du géant" and my rational for this that you need to express "a state of being" which means to use être. 

If you use avoir then you would be expressing that Jack downed the giant in terms of felling him (like a tree)

I do hope that this is helpful.

Alan (Jim)

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes! Between us we have solved the issue  --  transitive versus non-transitive use. Avoir v être using a direct object or preposition to an indirect object.

Voilà!

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The concept is not that hard. The quiz questions are poorly worded - ambiguous English sentences are used. Use of proper examples from daily life would be a big improvement over a fairy tale.

LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks for all your help with this!

A descendu question.

To go, come, climb down something. I don’t understand why a descendu doesn’t work for Jack climbing down the giant. The lesson seems to allow for it. Very confusing but not a phrase I’m likely to be using! 

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