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Se retourner ou retourner

KarenA1Kwiziq community member

Se retourner ou retourner

Bonjour, je ne suis pas sûr qu'on dit j'ai retourné la tête OU je me suis retourné(e) la tête...?!

Ou peut-on utiliser les deux ?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Spide,

For 'to turn your head' you would say simply -

tourner la tête

 'se retourner la tête' is wrong and sounds like you took your head off and tuned it round - very Halloween!

You would use 'se retourner' if your whole body turned around -

Je me suis retourné/e et je l'ai vu = I turned around and I saw it 
retourner quelque part to go back somewhere
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

What do you want to say? The reflexive statement sounds wrong to me. If you wanted simply to say "I turned my head", you'd probably just use "tourner" and not "retourner".

Retourner (used transitively) -- to turn over as in upend something.

If you want to say that you turned your head, you'd use something like: j'ai tourné la tête.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Spide,

You haven't quoted the lesson that you are having difficulty with?

As Chris points out   --  the verb retourner can be used with avoir transitively or être intransitively.

With avoir you will need a direct object to complete the meaning and with être a state of being that you wish to express.

I'm afraid that neither of your suggestions makes sense   --  please let us know which lesson and we will have another go at helping you out.

Jim

KarenA1Kwiziq community member
In fact, my teacher said a sentence for an example of using the verb retourner:

"J'ai retourné la tête." 

And the question came to me why it is not used as a pronominal verb. But now I feel that the example was completely wrong(?!) 

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Spide,

I'm concerned that your teacher has misled you by suggesting that "J'ai retourné la tête" means to "turn the head". Well it does, but not as you would expect -  Chris has already pointed out that it would mean to upend the head:  so this would involve detaching it and placing the crown on the shoulders with the neck vertical. Perhaps apt for Halloween, but a bit gruesome don't you think?

Bonne journeé

Jim

KarenA1Kwiziq community member

Hi there ! 

Je suis d'accord Jim.. C'est vraiment horrible ! 

I got the answer, thank you so much I am really grateful

Have a good day

Se retourner ou retourner

Bonjour, je ne suis pas sûr qu'on dit j'ai retourné la tête OU je me suis retourné(e) la tête...?!

Ou peut-on utiliser les deux ?

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