In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

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Tim

Kwiziq community member

29 October 2018

7 replies

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Demeurer can be used with avoir or être in Le Passé Composé... and changes meaning"

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

30 October 2018

30/10/18

Hi Tim,

Not quite sure if I have understood your question but in the 'Grammaphile's Corner' section of the lesson, it is explained that when the verb demeurer is transitive ( meaning it has an object) it uses 'avoir'  and intransitive ( without object) it uses 'être' which seems consistent to me.

Hope this helps!

Tim

Kwiziq community member

30 October 2018

30/10/18

Thank you, I think I am not seeing the obvious, but "j'ai demeure chez lui" and and " je suis resté chez lui" seem to mean the same thing.

Tim

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2018

8/11/18

I don't want to fill up the question section with a daft question, but the more I think about this it seems to me that neither version of demeurer takes a direct object ie they are both intransitive. If I'm right the grammaphile advice which is great for everything else does not work for demeurer. If you can explain why I am wrong I would be very grateful. Thank you for your patience with a struggling student."

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

8 November 2018

8/11/18

Hi Tim,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you...

Demeurer as your rightly point out is an odd one as it doesn't really fit into the usual transitive and intransitive category of verbs which take avoir or être.

However, it does mean two different things and use both auxiliaries depending on its meaning.

Maybe a better way of thinking about it is :

When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'.

However, this is just a particularity of that verb and there is no need to sweat over as you will often use other verbs to describe the same meaning, rester in the case of the state of being ,

Je suis demeuré/resté bouche bée = I stayed open mouthed

and vivre/habiter for the action,

Nous avons demeuré/vécu/habité rue St Martin pendant dix ans We lived in Rue St Martin for ten years 

You will find exceptions to all rules so this is very perceptive of you...'Vivre' is the same , intransitive but takes 'avoir' 

J'ai vécu I have lived

Hope this helps!

 

 

Tim

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2018

8/11/18

That's very helpful, thank you.

Rod

Kwiziq community member

20 January 2019

20/01/19

Cecile's answer to Tim really helped me.  I was also confused about the opposite behaviour of demeurer relative to other verbs that  use etre or avoir depending on context.  It would be very helpful if the lesson was altered to explicitly state that this verb is odd  - all the other lessons state that if the verb is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc) the auxillary is etre, but that is not the case for demeurer (e.g. Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.).   Explaining that it breaks the rules, and adding the core of Cecile's explanation would avert confusion. This comment from Cecile was particularly helpful: "When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'."

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 January 2019

21/01/19

Hi all, 

The lesson is going to be adapted and your comments will be taken into consideration.

Thank you very much for pointing those out...

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