For "We are leaving at 4", I chose, "Nous quittons à quatre heures" instead of "Nous partons à quatre heures", because the lesson says partir must be followed by de or pour when it is not used on its own. Why is "Nous partons à quatre heures" correct? And why is "Nous quittons à quatre heures" wrong?
Firstly, the lesson doesn't say that partir must be followed by 'de', the verb partir can be used on its own.
However, as quitter is a transitive verb ( it has an object) if you said -
Je quitte à 4 h
we would assume that you were talking about work and the time you leave work.
Hope this helps!
I found the line about partir ‘on its own’ confusing initially too. However, this refers to not having to specify “a place” from or to, ie not needing an object. You can say “Nous partons .... “ without giving a reference place. When a place is specified “partir de” or “partir pour” are the required forms. There is a common fixed expression “partir en vacances” though.
With quitter, there must be a reference place/person being left that is known to the speaker/audience for it to make sense, and as a direct object of the verb, so not “quitter de” or “quitter pour”. As the example does not indicate leaving a place, quitter cannot be used here.
In the context of this lesson, if you think of them as follows, you will cover most (not quite all) of the standard usage:
Sortir - (just) going out, Sortir de - going out from (of)
Partir - (just) leaving, Partir de - leaving from, Partir pour - leaving for (Expression - Partir en vacances - going/leaving on holidays)
Quitter - leaving somewhere or leaving someone or leaving job (quitting)
Laisser - leaving something or someone, with someone or some where
Wow, thank you so much Maarten! I get it now.
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