descendre means "to get off" or "to climb down"?

N. Hilary (Shamrockhill)C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

descendre means "to get off" or "to climb down"?

"Jacques est descendu du haricot magique." was translated to: "Jack got off the magic beanstalk." I answered, "Jack climbed down the beanstalk" and it was marked wrong. Larousse clearly states that "descendre de" (using etre as the auxiliary verb) means "climb or climb down". Hence, my confusion.

Asked 2 years ago
JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Shamrockhill,

This point has been discussed on the forum many times before.

Putting it simply it is a matter of using the verb with a direct object (transitive) or indirect object (intransitive) "Jacques est descendu du haricot magique." is an example of intransitive usage.

In the sense that Jacques got down from the beanstalk - He dismounted.

If the meaning was simply to descend the item then avoir would be used in a transitive manner.

There is more here:-

Descendre can be used with avoir or être in compound tenses depending on its meaning in French (Le Passé Composé)

Scroll to the very end of this above piece and you will find numerous historic posts of discussion.

Hope this helps.

Jim

CélineKwiziq team member

Bonjour Shamrockhill,

Jim is correct! 

Follow the link here: still-puzzled-about-jack-and-that-beanstalk

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

descendre means "to get off" or "to climb down"?

"Jacques est descendu du haricot magique." was translated to: "Jack got off the magic beanstalk." I answered, "Jack climbed down the beanstalk" and it was marked wrong. Larousse clearly states that "descendre de" (using etre as the auxiliary verb) means "climb or climb down". Hence, my confusion.

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