French Word of the Day

French Fanatic

Learn French vocabulary with one new French word a day
Search our site

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


  • to take out, to get out (as a transitive verb)
  • to go out or leave (as an intransitive verb)

Philippe sort l’aspirateur du placard.
Philippe is taking the vacuum cleaner out of the closet.

Philippe sort à 19h00.
Philippe is leaving at 7 o’ clock.

Sortir is usually first learned as an intransitive verb meaning to go out. However, when used with an object, or as a transitive verb, it means to take something out or get something out. Interestingly, these two meanings also require different auxiliary verbs to form the past tense. When using sortir to mean to leave or to go out, conjugate the passé composé with être: Elle est sortie (She left). But when using sortir as a transitive verb to mean to take something out, conjugate the passé composé with avoir: Elle a sorti les œufs (She took out the eggs).

Our word is inspired by a topic that has been very popular with our readers in the past — le ménage, or housework.

Vocabulary Section: Around the House, Word of the Day