I know that both faire une promenade and se promener mean "to walk," but which one is considered better to use?

  • Possible duplicate with this one ? May 28 '14 at 13:30
  • Quebec regionalism: "prendre une marche"
    – njzk2
    Apr 25 '16 at 21:12

If you say "je vais me promener" without saying where, you're going to wander, hang around.

But if you say "on va se promener en ville" ou bien "on a fait une promenade en forêt", you mean a real walk, enjoy the landscape, whatever.


Promenade/promener do not quite equal "walk" (which would be the more generic marcher). They both imply a component of leisure, and are usually translated by "take a walk".

There is actually a nuance of meaning between se promener and faire une promenade, as the latter is a punctual action, but for the most part, both are grammatical. Personally I don't like faire une/des promenade(s) (I think it's clunky, especially in the plural), but it's probably just me.

  • I meant faire une promenade. I changed it.
    – Orcris
    May 14 '12 at 0:56
  • punctual action?
    – Lambie
    Apr 25 '16 at 20:58
  • It's a full, single time action with a specific beginning and end in the mind of the speaker. That's why only promener has the extended and metaphorical meanings along the lines of "wandering around".
    – Circeus
    Apr 27 '16 at 7:13

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