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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Candice here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is What is the difference between Amener, emmener and ramener?
These words seem very similar, but you have to memorize the differences. Otherwise, you might confuse whoever you’re speaking to. So let’s go through them.
The base verb, mener, means “to lead.” It’s a more general term. For example, Napoleon mène ses armées à la capitale means “Napoleon leads his armies to the capital.” And J’espère mener une bonne vie means “I hope to lead a good life.”
Amener means “to lead to,” or “to take someone to someplace.” You bring someone to someplace and leave them there.
Emmener means “to go with, to bring someone along.” You go someplace with another person and stay with them.
Ramener means “to lead back, to take someone back.” You take someone back to the original place.
These prefixes are also used for the base verb, porter meaning “to carry/to bring.” Remember that porter can only be used with inanimate objects. If you are talking about a person, cat, or even an alien, you have to use mener.
Apporter means “to take to, to bring to.” You’re bringing something someplace and leaving it there.
Emporter means “to bring with.” You’re bringing something someplace and staying with it.
Rapporter means “to bring back.” You’re taking something back to the place it belongs or its place of origin.
So remember the prefixes – a-, take and leave, em-, bring with, and r-, bring back. One more time – a-, take and leave, em-, bring with, and r-, bring back. If you remember the prefixes, you should know the meanings.
Pretty easy, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!