Anne and Antoine are going for a walk with their dog.

MikeC1Kwiziq community member

Anne and Antoine are going for a walk with their dog.

I am not sure if this is perhaps different with American English but as someone from the UK this sounds like Anne and Antoine are in the process of going somewhere to walk their dog e.g. in their car driving to a forest.  It does not imply that they are in the process of actually walking their dog.  I agree that there is a subtlety specifically with the question which is that the phrase includes "with their dog" but the "are going for" implies that they are not actually yet walking their dog but intend to go for a walk with their dog.  For instance if I were to say "I am going shopping to buy some food" it means that I am not actually in the process of doing the shopping.  Can you please clarify if "se promènent" is the actual current act of doing something or describing the intention to do the act?

Asked 3 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Mike, 

if there is something unusual about the English that may apply in America, it applies in Australia too. The verb-verb construct ‘ going  (to) do ‘ is not the same as that used in the example , which is verb-noun,  ‘ going for a walk ‘.

‘ (to be) Going for a walk..’ can definitely mean ‘currently walking’ or ‘about to go for a walk ..’ in everyday Australian English usage. I don’t think it necessarily implies the necessity of any other form of transport being used to get the walk underway, although in specific contexts it might.

Partly this overlap in English meaning arises because we can and often do say ‘ going walking ..’ instead of ‘ going to go walking…). 

In French, present tense is also used where in English we would use present simple or present continuous, and can also be used for near future. 

The important point of the lesson and the example is the French distinction between using ‘se promener’ - taking themselves for a walk with the dog tagging along - as opposed to ‘ promener’, which would indicate the purpose was to walk the dog.

Expressing immediate and near-future actions with the present tense (Le Présent) in French 

Expressing "to walk" with se promener/promener/marcher/aller à pied in French

MikeC1Kwiziq community member

This doesn't answer my question.  I won't ask questions again on this site if I'm going to get this sort of response.

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Mike,

 I am sorry if it doesn’t answer your question but as many of the answers on this site are contributed by subscribers like me trying to be of assistance, you can be assured this is the last time I will endeavour to answer one of your questions.

I thought my explanation and the links to the lessons, including the one on se promener would be sufficient, and clearly someone at Kwiziq considered it so to have indicated it as correct, but if it wasn’t you could have asked politely for more clarification.

Anne and Antoine are going for a walk with their dog.

I am not sure if this is perhaps different with American English but as someone from the UK this sounds like Anne and Antoine are in the process of going somewhere to walk their dog e.g. in their car driving to a forest.  It does not imply that they are in the process of actually walking their dog.  I agree that there is a subtlety specifically with the question which is that the phrase includes "with their dog" but the "are going for" implies that they are not actually yet walking their dog but intend to go for a walk with their dog.  For instance if I were to say "I am going shopping to buy some food" it means that I am not actually in the process of doing the shopping.  Can you please clarify if "se promènent" is the actual current act of doing something or describing the intention to do the act?

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