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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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up vote 8 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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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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