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All about Sortir

Everything you need to know about the irregular French verb sortir

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Sortir is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation, and may require either être or avoir in the compound tenses, depending on whether it means "to go out" or "to take out."

Sortir most commonly means "to go out" or "to leave":

   Je veux sortir ce soir
   I want to go out tonight

   Nous ne sommes pas sortis depuis deux mois
   We haven't gone out for two months


Other meanings

Sortir is essentially the opposite of entrer (to enter). The meaning of sortir changes slightly depending on what follows it.

1a. sortir de - to get out of, leave

   Tu dois sortir de l'eau
   You need to get out of the water

   Sortez de chez moi !
   Get out of my house!

   D'où sort-il ?
   Where has he been?

1b. sortir de (informal) - to have just done something

   On sort de manger
   We just ate

   Il sortait de finir
   He had just finished

2. sortir en / à - to go out in / on

   Nous allons sortir en voiture
   We're going to go out in the car / go for a drive

   Je veux sortir à bicyclette
   I want to go out on my bike / go for a bike ride

   Il est sorti à pied
   He walked out / left on foot

3. sortir en + present participle - to ___ out

   Pourquoi est-il sorti en courant ?
   Why did he run out?

   Elle sort en boitant
   She is limping out

4. sortir par - to get out by means of

   Tu ne peux pas sortir par la porte
   You can't get out through the door

   L'oiseau est sorti par la fenêtre
   The bird went out the window

5. sortir + direct object - to take out

   Tu dois sortir le chien ce soir
   You need to take the dog out tonight

   J'ai sorti la voiture du garage
   I took the car out of the garage


Auxiliary verbs for sortir

In the compound tenses and moods, sortir may be conjugated with être or avoir:

1. When sortir is used intransitively, the auxiliary verb is être

   Es-tu sorti hier soir ?
   Did you go out last night?

   Je serai sorti avant midi
   I will have gone out before noon

2. When sortir is used transitively, the auxiliary verb is avoir

   Nous avions déjà sorti des vêtements quand...
   We had already taken some clothes out when...

   J'ai sorti la voiture du garage
   I took the car out of the garage


Sortir as a pronominal verb

Se sortir de means to get out of, extricate oneself

   J'espère qu'il va pouvoir se sortir de cette situation
   I hope he'll be able to get out of that situation.

   Je me suis sorti d'un mauvais pas
   I got out of a tight spot

S'en sortir means to survive/get through a dangerous or difficult situation

   Je ne sais pas s'il va s'en sortir
   I don't know if he's going to make it / pull through.

   Tu t'en es bien sorti !
   You've done really well!


Conjugations

Present tense
   je sors
   tu sors
   il sort
   nous sortons
   vous sortez
   ils sortent

All tenses
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