In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

TimC1Kwiziq community member

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Tim,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you...

Demeurer as your rightly point out is an odd one as it doesn't really fit into the usual transitive and intransitive category of verbs which take avoir or être.

However, it does mean two different things and use both auxiliaries depending on its meaning.

Maybe a better way of thinking about it is :

When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'.

However, this is just a particularity of that verb and there is no need to sweat over as you will often use other verbs to describe the same meaning, rester in the case of the state of being ,

Je suis demeuré/resté bouche bée = I stayed open mouthed

and vivre/habiter for the action,

Nous avons demeuré/vécu/habité rue St Martin pendant dix ans We lived in Rue St Martin for ten years 

You will find exceptions to all rules so this is very perceptive of you...'Vivre' is the same , intransitive but takes 'avoir' 

J'ai vécu I have lived

Hope this helps!

 

 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Tim,

Not quite sure if I have understood your question but in the 'Grammaphile's Corner' section of the lesson, it is explained that when the verb demeurer is transitive ( meaning it has an object) it uses 'avoir'  and intransitive ( without object) it uses 'être' which seems consistent to me.

Hope this helps!

TimC1Kwiziq community member
Thank you, I think I am not seeing the obvious, but "j'ai demeure chez lui" and and " je suis resté chez lui" seem to mean the same thing.
TimC1Kwiziq community member
I don't want to fill up the question section with a daft question, but the more I think about this it seems to me that neither version of demeurer takes a direct object ie they are both intransitive. If I'm right the grammaphile advice which is great for everything else does not work for demeurer. If you can explain why I am wrong I would be very grateful. Thank you for your patience with a struggling student."
TimC1Kwiziq community member
That's very helpful, thank you.
RodC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cecile's answer to Tim really helped me.  I was also confused about the opposite behaviour of demeurer relative to other verbs that  use etre or avoir depending on context.  It would be very helpful if the lesson was altered to explicitly state that this verb is odd  - all the other lessons state that if the verb is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc) the auxillary is etre, but that is not the case for demeurer (e.g. Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.).   Explaining that it breaks the rules, and adding the core of Cecile's explanation would avert confusion. This comment from Cecile was particularly helpful: "When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'."

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi all, 

The lesson is going to be adapted and your comments will be taken into consideration.

Thank you very much for pointing those out...

Tim asked:View original

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Getting that for you now.