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Both sortir and partir are the same in meaning. But what is the difference between these words in particular?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Sortir and partir do not have the same meaning.

For example, "je sors de chez moi", or "de la fumée sort de la cheminée", or also "l'accélération est sortie des valeurs limites de sécurité, c'est pourquoi la fusée s'est auto-détruite".

When no object is specified from here, from where the subject is currently should be assumed: "je sors. (d'ici)" or "attention, quand je dévisserai ce bouchon, du liquide va sortir (du réservoir)".

For example, "je pars deux semaines en Espagne cet été", or "Jean a démissionné, il est parti chez un concurrent", or also "Stéphanie est partie ? (de cette réunion)".

  • In certain cases, this is subtle:

Stéphanie est partie ? suggests she left the party, or the meeting, for good

while

Stéphanie est sortie ? suggests this is temporary: she will be back in a while

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Another important distinction is that sortir is also used when talking about going out with someone on a date. "Je sors avec cette fille ce soir" –  bronxbomber92 Jun 21 at 22:04

Sortir is used when the subject leaves a place.

L'oiseau est sorti de son oeuf.

On the contrary, partir is generally used when it implies the destination.

Il est parti en France pour l'été.

We can use partir without a destination. In that case, it will mean that he left for a long moment.

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In English, partir is to depart (or leave). Sortir is to sortie, (or go out of). You can go out of something (e.g. a house) without leaving the general vicinity.

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