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How To Use The Verb Sortir (To Go Out) In French

How To Use The Verb Sortir (To Go Out) In French

In today’s lesson we’ll have a look at the verb sortir, which means to go out. For example, “Je suis malade. Je ne sors pas aujorud’hui” (I’m sick. I’m not going out today). Students often confuse sortir with partir (to leave). By the end of this lesson the difference between the two verbs should be very clear.


to go out

Sortir – to go out in French

Present tense conjugation

Sortir (to go out) is an irregular IR verb. This means that its endings different than other regular IR verbs (such as finir – to leave) when conjugated in the present tense.

Je sors I go out
Tu sors You go out (singular, familiar)
Il, elle sort He, she goes out
Nous sortons We go out
Vous sortez You go out (plural, formal)
Ils, elles sortent They go out

Example sentences

The grammatical construction for sortir is: sortir de + place. Hence, sortir de la maison translates to “to go out of the home/house”. This lesson our site covers aujourd’hui (today).

Je ne me sens pas bien et je ne sors pas de la maison aujourd’hui.

I don’t feel well and I’m not going out of the house today.

The expression sortir ensemble means to go out romantically. The literal translation of depuis is since. When combined with present tense, it can be used to mean “have been”. This lesson explains depuis.

Martin et Julie sortent ensemble depuis trois ans.

Martin and Julie have been going out together for three years.

In French, the expression s’en sortir means “to cope”, “to get by” and “to get through”. Hence, je m’en sors means “I’ll get by” or “I’ll get through it”.

Ne t’inquiète pas, on va s’en sortir !

Don’t worry! We’ll get through it!

Sortir vs. Partir

As I mentioned earlier, students often confuse sortir (to go out) with a very similar verb, partir, which means “to leave”. The grammar for both verbs the same: partir de + place (to leave + place name).

Je n’aime pas Claude. Pourquoi est-ce qu’il ne part pas?

I don’t like Claude. Why isn’t he leaving?

This final sentence is in the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense. Note the usage of être (to be) as the auxiliary verb. This lesson explains the passé composé in detail.

Ils sont partis de la maison hier.

They left the house yesterday.


Et voilà ! Now you know how to use the verb sortir (to go out) and not confuse it with partir (to leave). Now check our our lesson covering two other confusing verbs: commander and ordonner (both mean to order in different contexts).

Example of how to use sortir (to go out)
La femme sort de la maison. The woman is going out of the house.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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