«C'était tellement amusant qu'il y est retourné plus tard.It was such fun that he went back later! Note that in each case where être is the auxilliary, the verb retourner is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc.).
So, in these cases retourner is usually about going back somewhere, or returning somewhere.»
I think the explanation needs a little expansion - considering it is contradicted by the example immediately preceding it.
Yes the same with "Marie est retournée le voir le lendemain"
No preposition but uses être.
Perhaps point out that retourner is an exception to the rule?
Contrary to the statement in the lesson, which can easily be interpreted to mean that there will always be a preposition after «être retourner», this is not the case.
As «être retourner' means to go back or return somewhere, a destination is necessary with «être retourner». This will very often be in the form of 'preposition-place' as an indirect object after «étre retourner». However, for previously mentioned places, 'y' can replace this (as an indirect object) before the verb and without a preposition following. This was the case in the example I highlighted in a previous comment, and in Liz's example more recently.
For the example highlighted by G, «le» covers a destination (that is implicitly known to have been previously mentioned because of «le voir») that Marie returned to.
Retourner can and does also conjugate as «avoir retourner», but in that form it will be NOT be referring to return to somewhere and will use a direct object, with no preposition immediately following the verb. The difference in meaning of these conjugations is as discussed in the lesson.
Thanks Maarten, very helpful and detailed response.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard