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s'améliorer vs améliorer

AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

s'améliorer vs améliorer

"We improved rapidly"  why is this "nous nous sommes rapidement améliorés" instead of "nous avons rapidement amélioré"?  I have no idea when to make a verb reflexive!

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Adrienne, 

For to get better/ to improve you use the intransitive form of the verb s'améliorer (which is reflexive in French) when there is no object -

La situation s'est améliorée petit à petit The situation got better bit by bit 

Leur santé s'est bien améliorée = Their health has really improved

Ce vin s'améliore avec l'âge = This wine gets better with age 

You will use the transitive form of the verb 'améliorer' when it is followed by an object -

Le principal a amélioré le protocole d'entrée = The headmaster had improved the entry protocol

Le ministère des transports a amélioré le réseau d'autoroutes = The department of transport has improved the motorway network 

Hope this helps!

 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

In this case - ask “we improved who or what “? In English “we improved us/ourselves”. The subject and object of the verb are the same, so a reflexive form is needed. With the word order of French- Nous (we) nous (us/ourselves) sommes améliorés….

There are some verbs that are only in reflexive form and some that change meaning in reflexive form. Have a look at link:

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/reflexive-verbs/

s'améliorer vs améliorer

"We improved rapidly"  why is this "nous nous sommes rapidement améliorés" instead of "nous avons rapidement amélioré"?  I have no idea when to make a verb reflexive!

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