The verb renverser has many different meanings in French including to tilt, to spill, to knock down (in a car), to turn round, to invert, to overthrow....
The lesson here is concentrating on the different meanings of 'retourner' whether you use 'avoir' or 'être'.
Hope this helps!
Thank you, Cécile.
I agree as far the lesson goes, but in real life could I use either word equally to mean "turn upside down" or is renverser inappropriate for some cases. I first learned renverser but since retourner is confusing due to its double usage I would rather avoid it.
E.g. "J'ai retourné le sablier" or "j'ai renversé le sablier" for "I inverted the hourglass".
Unfortunately, if you say, "J'ai renversé le sablier", we hear:
"I knocked the egg timer over",
so no, you can't interchange the two verbs.
Thank you Cécile.
That is the really hard part about learning languages, even my native English - what is the right word to use in each situation.
That's very interesting, got me thinking since I, like you David, would habitually use renverser in this situation.
Harraps French/English dictionary gives a meaning of "renverser" as "to turn upside down", equivalent to "retourner exprès"
Collins/Robert treats it similarly : "to turn upside down" equivalent, "mettre à l'envers" and provides a sample usage: "renverser un seau - to turn a bucket upside down"
Finaly L'Académie française 9e édition.
2. Mettre à l'envers, retourner ; basculer dans la position contraire à celle qui est habituelle ou qui précède. Renverser une barque quille en l'air pour la réparer. Couvrir un plat d'une assiette renversée.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard