The French text book I have (Equipe Dynamique) uses "Je suis parti" in the Vocabulary section to say "I went with my parents/a friend" instead of "Je suis allé" and I am wondering why.

  • Is the answer to this question any help? – None Aug 20 '16 at 5:32
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    Can you add the context please ? – Random Aug 20 '16 at 7:16

Your textbook is probably using "went" as in left if it's using partir. Using "aller" always requires a complement, such as "Je suis allé(e) au cinema avec mon ami." (I went to the movie theater with my friend.) But you couldn't say "Je suis allé(e). If you were just saying "I went with my friend" you couldn't use aller. If you were wanting to say that you left with your friend you could use "Je suis parti(e) avec mon ami." You could also use "s'en aller" which means the same. So if you wanted to say "I went with my friend" using aller you could "Je m'en suis allé(e)."

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  • Of course you can use aller to say you went with your friend. Je suis allé(e) avec mon ami (or better in the context you give j'y suis allé(e) avec mon ami) would be the best way to say "I went with my friend". I don't expect anyone in the 21st century would say Je m'en suis allé(e) to mean "I went", it is rather old fashioned. – None Aug 20 '16 at 8:29
  • To my understanding you always need a complement? You can't just plainly say "Je suis allé." You have to have at least something like "y" or "en", even if you didn't have a specific place you were going. And excuse me, I was unaware of the "s'en aller" rule, as my previous French teacher was about 70 years old. – AKate47 Aug 20 '16 at 10:59
  • You are right, you can't just say je suis allé but you wrote "If you were just saying "I went with my friend" you couldn't use aller." which is not right because there is a complement (J'y suis allé avec mon ami). If you think you did not write what you meant you can always edit your answer (click on edit). And by the way welcome to French Language. – None Aug 20 '16 at 11:10
  • @Laure quand tu dis que " Je m'en suis allé " à l'air old-fashioned, comment est-ce que tu traduirais " I got outta there " ? C'est le verbe " S'en aller " ce que tu trouves old-fashioned, dans n'importe quel temps, ou est-ce quelque chose en particulier avec ce contexte ? – hunter Aug 22 '16 at 10:54
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    @hunter Le contexte donné dans la réponse; je m'en suis allé est très littéraire et il est beaucoup plus courant de nos jours de dire Je suis parti(e) avec mon ami (ou à la mer, etc.) que je m'en suis allé(e) avec mon ami. De plus pour dire "I went with my friend" ce n'est pas le verbe s'en aller mais le verbe aller (Je suis allé/j'y suis allé avec mon ami). Par contre pas de problème pour dire *je m'en vais (il s'en va, etc.), je vais m'en aller, va-t'en! "I got outta there" ce ne serait pas plutôt faut que je fiche le camp? ? – None Aug 22 '16 at 13:50

Both are correct, but the context may change, even if it's minor. At least it's how I use it.

"Je suis allé chez mes parents" mean that you took the decision to go somewhere.

"Je suis parti chez mes parents" mean that you left a place before.

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"Partir" is not always the translation for "to leave". For example, to go on a vacation or on a trip is "Partir en vacances" and "Partir en voyage".

It is implied that you leave your home to go on a temporary location, with the intention of coming back. In your example, I assume they went with their parents/friends on a trip or a weekend.

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