Created using FigmaCreated using Figma

What is the difference between offrir and donner? Which do people use most ?

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

11 September 2017

4 replies

What is the difference between offrir and donner? Which do people use most ?

This relates to:
Conjugate offrir and souffrir (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past) -

Ron

Kwiziq community member

11 September 2017

11/09/17

Bonjour Jennifer,
Let's first look at the Collins-Robert Dictionnaire:
offrir
1) (= proposer) to offer
offrir qch à qn to offer sth to sb, to offer sb sth
⇒ On lui a offert un poste de secrétaire. They offered her a secretarial post.
⇒ offrir à boire à qn to offer sb a drink
⇒ Elle lui a offert à boire. She offered him a drink.
⇒ offrir de faire qch to offer to do sth
⇒ offrir à qn de faire qch to offer to do sth for sb
2) (= faire cadeau) to give
offrir qch à qn to give sth to sb, to give sb sth
⇒ Il lui a offert des roses. He gave her roses.
Now let's look at donner:
as a TRANSITIVE verb
1) [objet personnel, argent] to give
(= faire don de) to give away
⇒ "Tu as toujours ta veste en daim?"- - "Non, je l'ai donnée." "Have you still got your suede jacket?" - - "No, I've given it away."
donner qch à qn [cadeau, renseignement] to give sb sth, to give sth to sb
⇒ Elle m'a donné son adresse. She gave me her address.
2) [spectacle] to put on
[film] to show
3) [résultat, effet] to produce
⇒ Cela donne un résultat surprenant. It produces a surprising result.
4) (autres locutions)
donner l'heure à qn to tell sb the time
donner un coup à qn to hit sb
donner faim à qn to make sb feel hungry
⇒ Ça m'a donné faim. That made me feel hungry.

as an INTRANSITIVE verb
1) (= faire un don) to give
⇒ Il donne toujours quand c'est pour Médecins Sans Frontières. He always gives something when it's for Médecins Sans Frontières.
non merci, j'ai déjà donné (ironic) no thanks, I've had my fair share of that
2) donner de sa personne (= se sacrifier) to give of o.s.
3) [soleil] to shine
⇒ Le soleil donnait à fond. The sun was beating down.
4) [arbre fruitier] to bear fruit
⇒ Notre noyer n'a pas donné cette année. Our walnut tree didn't have any nuts this year.
5) (= laisser croire)
donner à penser que ... to make one think that ...
donner à entendre que ... to give to understand that ...
6) (= avoir vue)
donner sur [fenêtre, chambre] to look onto, to overlook
⇒ une fenêtre qui donne sur la mer a window that looks onto the sea, a window overlooking the sea
7) (se laisser prendre)
donner dans [piège] to fall into [genre, style] to slip into
(military, = charger, attaquer)
8) faire donner l'infanterie to send in the infantry

As can be ascertained from the different definitions, the two words have some overlap in the meanings; however, in the bigger picture, they do not have the same meanings.

Here are a couple of examples:
I gave you a gift. --> Je vous ai donné un cadeau (a gift was given to you and accepted by you).
I offered you a gift --> Je vous ai offert un cadeau (a gift was simply offered to you, this doesn't mean that the recipient actually accepted the gift, but it was offered)
J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière.

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2017

13/09/17

Thanks Ron,,

Do you think there is some sort of protocol going that decides whether donner or offrir are used when the meaning is give. It seems that flowers may be offered (offrir) rather than given (donner) but in both cases flowers probably exchange hands. I guess I have a way to go before I reach Mollière's grasp of the language.

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2017

13/09/17

Thanks Ron,,

Do you think there is some sort of protocol going that decides whether donner or offrir are used when the meaning is give. It seems that flowers may be offered (offrir) rather than given (donner) but in both cases flowers probably exchange hands. I guess I have a way to go before I reach Mollière's grasp of the language.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2017

13/09/17

Can you repost with just the lesson that you are questioning. No need for the whole question again. Thanks

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
2427questions4861answers109,405users
Getting that for you now.