approcher de vs. s'approcher de

HelenaB2Kwiziq community member

approcher de vs. s'approcher de

When do you use "approcher de" as opposed to "s'approcher de"?  Would "s'approcher de" have been incorrect in the context of this writing exercise?

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Helena,

Thank you Chris and Alan(Jim) for your brilliant answers.

Here are ‘approcher’ and ‘s’approcher’ in context to help clarify the differences:

Approcher = intransitive (no object) :

L’hiver approche à grands pas = Winter is coming soon

Noël approche = Christmas is coming

Les chevaux approchent ! The horses are getting closer!

 

 

Approcher de / S’approcher de = transitive (object) :

On approche de Noël We are getting close to Christmas

Ma grand-mère approche de ses 70 ans = My grand-mother is nearing her 70th birthday

 

Le ferry s’approche du quai = The ferry is approaching the quay

Il s’approche de son but He is getting closer to his goal

Ce film s’approche de la réalité This film is close to the reality

Le cheval s’approche de moi The horse is coming closer to me

 

 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Helena,

To "approach" versus "to get closer to".   It's a matter of degree --  s'approcher is to move oneself closer perhaps to "cuddle up" whereas approcher - to approach (get closer to) a distant object from afar.

Hope this helps.

Alan (Jim)

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Adding to Jim's answer:
Approcher is used with inanimate objects and means that something is getting closer: les vacances approchent. It may also be used in a non-literal meaning, as in Il approche le problème en hésitant.

In the majority of other cases, you'd use s'approcher, as in, e.g., le garçon s'approche du chien.

Here is more about this: https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/25920/approcher-ou-sapprocher

approcher de vs. s'approcher de

When do you use "approcher de" as opposed to "s'approcher de"?  Would "s'approcher de" have been incorrect in the context of this writing exercise?

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