Visiter vs rendre visite à = To visit a place vs a person

Look at these sentences:

J'ai visité Paris.
I visited Paris.

Il a visité le Musée d'Orsay.
He visited the Museum of Orsay.

J'ai rendu visite à ma soeur.
I visited / went to see my sister.

Il rend visite à ses parents.
He's paying a visit to his parents.

Note that the verb visiter is used with places.  

When visiting people (friends, family...), we use the expression rendre visite à [quelqu'un] and never visiter alone.
(This is similar to the English to pay a visit to [someone].)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

rendre visite à


Il rend visite à ses parents.
He's paying a visit to his parents.


J'ai rendu visite à ma grand-mère hier.
I visited my grandmother yesterday.


Je vais rendre visite à mes cousins.
I'm going to visit my cousins.


J'ai rendu visite à ma soeur.
I visited / went to see my sister.


visiter


J'ai visité Paris.
I visited Paris.


Je vais visiter Londres.
I'm going to visit London.


Il a visité le Musée d'Orsay.
He visited the Museum of Orsay.


Q&A Forum 9 questions, 16 answers

I was told that 'visiter' was to visit a museum and not something personal - eg je visite pour voir ta nouvelle cuisine (more or scrutinising!)??

Asked 3 months ago
MarieKwiziq language super star

Hi Caroline,

Correct, "visiter" is used for places and not a person. In "je visite pour voir ta nouvelle cuisine", there is an implication of "your house/your flat/your place" after "je visite", and could also read "je visite ton appartement pour voir ta nouvelle cuisine".

Hope this helps!

I was told that 'visiter' was to visit a museum and not something personal - eg je visite pour voir ta nouvelle cuisine (more or scrutinising!)??

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Is it not also correct to use "aller voir" for visiting people?

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Carol,

Yes, you are correct you can use ‘aller voir’ as in English for, to visit people:

Je vais aller voir mes parents samedi = I am going to go and see my parents on Saturday 

Is it not also correct to use "aller voir" for visiting people?

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Gerard’s House writing A-1

In the first sentence Emma: Today I am visiting Gérard’s House your answer is Aujourd’hui je visite la maison de Gérard.

I thought visite is for museums, not peoplés house. For people we should use rendre visite. Please explain 

Also, la maison de Gérard, = chez Gérard? 

Asked 5 months ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Claudia !

Here it's about the nuance between visiting someone (at their place), and visiting the house that belongs to them :)

When you say "I'm visiting Gérard's house", you mean visiting the building, the house that belongs to Gérard, hence using "visiter".

If you were to visit your friend Gérard (who lives in a house), then you'd say "I'm visiting Gérard", and in French you'd say "Je rends visite à Gérard".

You wouldn't be able to say "Je rends visite chez Gérard" nor "Je visite chez Gérard" : these sentences sound off in French, a bit like saying "I'm visiting at Gerard's house".

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

Gerard’s House writing A-1

In the first sentence Emma: Today I am visiting Gérard’s House your answer is Aujourd’hui je visite la maison de Gérard.

I thought visite is for museums, not peoplés house. For people we should use rendre visite. Please explain 

Also, la maison de Gérard, = chez Gérard? 

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Hoi LamA1

Question on this sentence, " J'ai visité Paris. "

Is this an exception case that we omit the "à", do you have other similar example? 

Thank you.

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Carine,

There is no need for the 'à' here as the verb is simply: 

to visit + town

e.g. J'ai visité Paris, Rome et Berlin.

but if you said:

 I went to ...

it would be - Je suis allée à Paris, à Rome et à Berlin.

Hope this helps!

Hoi Lam asked:View original

Question on this sentence, " J'ai visité Paris. "

Is this an exception case that we omit the "à", do you have other similar example? 

Thank you.

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A bit of a tangent - I thought in a sentence like "J'ai rendu visite à mon ami dimanche dernier," you would say "LE dimanche dernier?"

Asked 10 months ago

You would use the article in conjunction with a weekday in one of two cases:

1) if you are talking about a series of days, e.g.:
Le dimanche je rend visite à ma mère. -- Sundays I visit my mother. (meaning all Sundays)

2) if you are talking about a weekday in general, e.g.:
Je déteste le lundi. -- I hate Mondays.

In your example you are referring to a particular Sunday, hence no article:
J'ai rendu visite à mon ami dimanche dernier.

A bit of a tangent - I thought in a sentence like "J'ai rendu visite à mon ami dimanche dernier," you would say "LE dimanche dernier?"

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I understood that the second and third consecutive verbs were in the infinitive

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Stephen,

The expression is rendre visite à quelqu'un (to visit someone) and visite is a noun not a verb in this instance.. Think of to pay someone a visit in English.

Hope this helps!

I don't get your question. Can you rephrase it? -- Chris.
My answer contained ´vais rendre visiter’, I was told the second and third consecutive verbs should be in the infinitive.

I understood that the second and third consecutive verbs were in the infinitive

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I was taught "faire une visite" and it was in textbooks. What happened to this expression?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Frank,

'Faire une visite' is mostly used for touristy visits of attractions or monuments.

Nous avons fait une visite guidée du Louvre We had a conducted tour of the Louvre Museum

You can use 'faire une visite à quelqu'un' for to visit someone, but you are more likely to use 'rendre visite à quelqu'un' or simply 'aller voir quelqu'un'.

You might say, "J'ai  fait une petite visite à ma soeur en passant.", meaning, "I dropped in to my sister's while I was passing."

Hope this helps!

There are several ways in French to express that you visited someone.

Marie rend visite à sa copine. -- Marie pays a visit to her friend.
Marie vas voir sa copine. -- Marie goes to see her friend.

Personally, I am not sure about "faire une visite". I guess it is OK but I don't know for sure. Aurélie would have to chime in on that.

-- Chris.

Correction of a typo: "Marie va voir..." (not vas voir).

Sorry about that.....

-- Chris.

I was taught "faire une visite" and it was in textbooks. What happened to this expression?

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Can you say rendre visite chez someone

Or does it have to be à not chez...
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Lisa, Une très bonne question. If I am understanding your question correctly, the use of chez vs à is the query. Chez indicates someones place, i.e. chez ma sœur, chez Marc, etc.; while à indicates a person, i.e. à ma sœur, à mon père, etc. It appears to me that given the definitions in the lesson: »Notice that the verb visiter is used with places. When visiting people (friends and family) the expression rendre visite à quelqu'un is used and never visiter alone. (This is similar to the English "to pay a visit to someone".)« that using chez . . . one would use visiter instead of rendre visite,. Bonne chance,
Merci buckets!

Can you say rendre visite chez someone

Or does it have to be à not chez...

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ZsuzsaB1

Bonjour,

Asked 2 years ago
ZsuzsaB1
Bonjour, I think I've found a small mistake in the following sentence: J'ai rendu visite à ma grand-mère. I visited my grandmother yesterday. 'Hier' is missing from the French sentence. Merci, bonne journée!
DanielA2
They haven't fix it yet :)
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour à tous les deux !

Thanks very much for letting us know (again): this one had slipped through, but it has now been fixed, thanks to you two :)

Merci encore et Bonne Année !

Zsuzsa asked:View original

Bonjour,

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Let me take a look at that...