Hi, I just came across this on a test and I wrote that it could mean Jack descended on the giant (as opposed to the stairs ) and this was marked incorrect but in the explanation it states that they descended the stairs requires avoir as the auxillary verb so I cannot see why descending on the giant is any different? They both have a direct object.
I am a bit confused about this. Thanks
descendre quelqu'un = to take down someone ( to kill them)
descendre quelque chose = to take something down
Both take 'avoir'.
descendre de quelque chose = to get off something
descendre de quelqu'un ( rarer) = to come down from someone
Both take 'être'.
As Chris says if you look at the Q&A attached to the lesson you will find lots of examples.
Hope this helps!
The lesson that you have referred to is very good at explaining the difference between the grammar using a direct object and that of using an indirect object.
To take your heading "Jacques a descendu le géant", you will see that the verb descendre is acting directly on the object "le géant".
So the verb is doing something directly to the object (transitive usage), it has caused the object to be taken down or felled.
If you wanted to climb down from the giant or fall upon it then this would involve intransitive usage and the auxiliary être. (Note the prepositions "from" and "upon")
I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.
I recommend you check out the discussion at the bottom of the lesson. It explains a lot.
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