Jack descended (on) the giant

Paul

Kwiziq community member

29 May 2018

3 replies

Jack descended (on) the giant

I can see from the discussion that I am not the only learner who gets confused about this, but am I correct that these two sentences are translated thus:

Jack descended the giant = Jack a descendu le geant (Sorry, can't do the accent)

and

Jack descended on the giant = Jack est descendu sur le geant.

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

30 May 2018

30/05/18

Hi Paul, my understanding is thus:

Jack a descendu le géant. -- Jack took down the giant (i.e., he killed it)
Jack est descendu du géant. -- Jack came down from the giant.#

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Paul

Kwiziq community member

30 May 2018

30/05/18

Thanks Chris. I saw your two examples in the lesson, but it gets trickier in the multiple choice quizzes.  According to the "right" answers on the quizzes "Jacques a descendu le géant." also means "Jack took the giant downstairs." But the meaning of "Jacques est descendu du haricot magique." includes "Jack got (climbed) off the magic beanstalk" but not "Jack climbed down the magic beanstalk."

Maybe the meaninngs are different for beanstalks and giants a propos Aurelie's comment that "With animated beings, "avoir descendu" means "to take down, to shoot them down, to kill them"." Aurelie also writes that "If you wanted to say "He climbed down ON the giant", you would use "être descendu" as it would be followed by a preposition such as "de" (off/from) or "le long de" (along):"

Maybe the quiz answer is wrong?

Terri

Kwiziq community member

12 November 2018

12/11/18

I also had this question, and I'm still confused. The examples "J'ai descendu les escaliers" and "Jacques a descendu le géant". Why does the first mean I went down, but the second does not mean He went down (He descended)? I did not get the first two, but this one I did answer was marked wrong. 

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