Sortir can be used with avoir or être in Le Passé Composé... and changes meaning

Most verbs use either avoir or être as the auxiliary verb in Passé composé (or other compound tense)but sortir uses both, depending on its grammatical usage* and what it means in the sentence.
 
*Grammaphile's Corner : the technical grammatical distinction between these cases is actually whether the verb is used in a transitive or intransitive manner. 
- The transitive version (the version with a direct object) uses avoir.
- The intransitive version (lacking a direct object), uses être.
 

être + sorti
= to go out 
= to come out 
= to be released (movie)

Je suis sorti de la cuisine quand elle m'a appelé.
I went out of the kitchen when she called me.

Il est sorti avec elle pendant quelque temps.
He went out with her for a while.

Le nouveau James Bond est sorti la semaine dernière.
The new James Bond was released last week.

Note that in each case where être is the auxilliary, the verb sortir is either followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à, par, chez etc.) or has no object after it (to be released --).  
In these cases sortir is usually about going or coming out [of somewhere], or to be released (for a movie).

(See also Agreeing past participle with subject's gender and number with (+ être) verbs in Le Passé Composé)
 

avoir + sorti [quelque chose]
= to take out [something]

Quand je suis arrivé, j'ai sorti ma trousse de mon sac.
When I arrived, I took my pencilcase out of my bag.

Il a sorti les poubelles ce matin.
He took the bins out this morning.

When sortir is followed immediately by a noun (as opposed to a preposition), it uses avoir as the auxiliary, like most verbs.  
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il est sorti avec elle pendant quelque temps.
He went out with her for a while.


Je suis sorti de la cuisine quand elle m'a appelé.
I went out of the kitchen when she called me.


Quand je suis arrivé, j'ai sorti ma trousse de mon sac.
When I arrived, I took my pencilcase out of my bag.


Il a sorti les poubelles ce matin.
He took the bins out this morning.


Le nouveau James Bond est sorti la semaine dernière.
The new James Bond was released last week.


Q&A

Peter

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2019

4 replies

Why is it "Quand je SUIS sorti hier soir, il faisait très froid." The lesson says that we use AVOIR when the verb isn't followed by a preposition...

Tom

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2019

9/01/19

Hi Peter.

In this case SORTIR is beng used intransitively, i.e. there is no direct object involved (no noun directly follows "je suis sorti". "hier soir" is an adverbial expression placing the verb in a temporal context and could be removed without fundamentally changing the sense of the sentence.

Hope this helps,

Tom

Peter

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

10/01/19

Thanks Tom. Too complicated for my little brain - but now I know it's not just about prepositions - progress! :)

Chris

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

10/01/19

Transitive verbs are those that act directly on some object (the "direct object"). For example: I eat an apple. "Apple" is the direct object of the verb "eat".

Intransitive verbs don't act on a direct object. For example: I slept well tonight. The verb "sleep" doesn't use a direct object, it doesn't act on anything. Some intransitive verbs may have an indirect object, though: I am listening to a CD. The indirect object "a CD" is not being acted upon by listening (i.e., you dont "listen a CD"). Often you recognize indirect objects by a preceding preposition.

So much for a quick review of the concept. Now back to French.

Je sors. -- I go out. There is no object at all, it is an intransitive verb and the past tense is formed using être instead of avoir: je suis sorti.

But sortir can also be used in a transitive manner in French. For example:Je sors la poubelle. -- I take out the trashbin. "La poubelle" being the direct object, the verb sortir is being used transitively. Hence the past tense is formed with avoir: j'ai sorti la poubelle.

Peter

Kwiziq community member

11 January 2019

11/01/19

Hi Chris

I had to read that a few times but (I think) I now get it. Thanks!

P

William

Kwiziq community member

9 February 2018

1 reply

The Doll's House

Je sais que c'est un site d'apprentissage en français, mais "doll house" ne sonne tout simplement pas bien. "Doll house" a probablement ses origines en Amérique. Nous ne dirions jamais "a girl room" au lieu de "a girl’s room". En fait, cela semble pire que leur orthographe "math" et non "maths". L'apostrophe est essentielle, “ the doll’s house”. C'est mon anniversaire dans deux semaines et si vous pouviez remplacer "doll house" par "doll’s house", ce serait le meilleur cadeau d'anniversaire de tour les temps.

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

14 April 2018

14/04/18

Bonjour William - votre vœu a été exaucé (un peu en retard mais quand même).
How has your day been?